We use a multidisciplinary approach to understand control principles underlying robust embryo development. Besides classic and modern tools of zebrafish genetics, we also adopt and develop techniques that provide quantitative readout of single cell dynamics or mechanics. Whenever appropriate, we use computational modeling to generate testable predictions to distinguish competing hypotheses.
Some of the techniques that we implement are:
In toto imaging visualizes development of the whole tissue at single cell resolution.
In vivo live imaging of transgenic zebrafish monitors cell fate decision live as cells migrate within a tissue to form patterns.
Cell tracking reveals migratory trajectories of single cells during tissue morphogenesis.
Dual pipette assay measures adhesion forces between cell pairs isolated from zebrafish embryos.
Triplet assay measures adhesion preferences of cells, with the goal to mimic the choices cells have to make when they are pulled by different neighbors during morphogenesis in vivo.
Laser ablation measures tension within a tissue.
Computational simulation of pattern formation and morphogenesis as a hypothesis generation tool.