Development and Patterning of the Anterior-Posterior Axis through a Genetic Focus in Xenopus
The focus of the lab is to understand development; that is, the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate how a single cell (the egg) transforms into an adult animal with a multitude of functioning organs, following a specific body plan. The first milestone in the establishment of the body plan is to define the three main axes: anterior-posterior, dorso-ventral and left-right. In particular, this project will focus on formation of the anterior-posterior axis, that we can divide in head, trunk and tail, and genes involved in patterning the developing neural tissue that give rise to the future brain and spinal cord. We will search for genes that control cellular behavior, and study how they are turned on by the signaling pathways and transcription factors, and what those products do in the process of gastrulation and neurulation.