Building multicellular structures during development: New roles for the ancient Toll receptor family
Jennifer Zallen is an HHMI Investigator at Sloan Kettering Institute. Her lab uses multidisciplinary approaches from cell and developmental biology, physics, engineering, and computer science to study how tissue architecture is dynamically remodeled throughout development. Her lab identified the force-generating machinery that elongates the head-to-tail body axis of the Drosophila embryo and discovered the rosette mechanism for tissue elongation, which has since been shown to be a conserved strategy for tissue elongation in vertebrates. In addition, her lab identified a global spatial system that systematically orients cell movements in the embryo, and showed that these signals are provided by an ancient family of receptors that is widely used for pathogen recognition by the innate immune system. These studies elucidate general principles that link cellular-level asymmetries and mechanical forces to global tissue reorganization.
The Jennifer Zallen Lab Website: