Synthetic Morphogenetic Programs

How does a single cell’s genome encode instructions enabling it to sculpt an entire metazoan body plan? We extend the methods of Synthetic Biology to development to test the sufficiency of postulated key physical mechanisms of morphogenesis for the generation of biologically relevant shapes and patterns, and to elucidate the rules of their composition into complex programs.

We design and create synthetic gene networks encoding artificial developmental programs in mammalian cells and coordinating the action of cell-level morphogenetic processes in space and time.

This work will test the sufficiency of minimal genetic programs for the morphogenesis of simple model microtissues and reveal clues about the role of additional biochemical complexity in analogous natural systems.

People: Adrian L. Slusarczyk