We investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying tissue morphogenesis. The formation of three-dimensional tubular structures from flat epithelial sheets is a key process of organ formation in all animals, including mammalian lungs and kidneys.
Our approach takes advantage of powerful Drosophila genetics, imaging, computational analysis and mathematical modeling. Using Drosophila embryonic tubular epithelia as models, we seek to understand how the forces driving spatiotemporal changes in cell shape, arrangement and position are generated and transmitted during epithelial tube formation. These studies provide a basis for understanding general processes of organogenesis.
A flat epithelial sheet of the Drosophila salivary gland (top) buds out (middle) to form a fully invaginated tube (bottom).
Crb, an apical membrane marker
CrebA, a salivary gland nuclear marker