The Zallen lab is using molecular, genetic, and cell biological approaches to understand the machinery that directs morphogenetic events. Their analysis is motivated by three central questions: How do cells establish asymmetry? How does this asymmetry mobilize the cytoskeleton to promote cell movement? And what is the spatial information that coordinates these movements across a multicellular population? An understanding of the cell rearrangements that occur during normal embryonic development will uncover general principles that build tissues and organs and can provide insight into how deranged versions of these processes contribute to human disease.
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