Neural Morphogenesis. We study patterning and biomechanics of convergent extension in the neural plate, and the mechanisms of neural tube closure. What cell behaviors shape the neural plate and how are they regulated by midline-originating signals? Mesodermal Morphogenesis. We are interested in the biomechanical role of such molecules as integrin, fibrillin, and cadherins during convergence and extension of the mesoderm. How do molecular components such as these and others such as members of the planar cell polarity pathway drive or guide convergence and extension and axis elongation? Comparative Morphogenesis. We are interested in understanding the variation among species in the mechanisms and biomechanics of gastrulation. This include the mechanisms by which surface mesoderm is removed during gastrulation and neurulation, and the degree to which the embryo uses convergent extension, mesendoderm migration, and Winklebauer rotation to drive gastrulation.
Dept. of Biology
University of Virginia
241 Gilmer Hall
Web Page: http://faculty.virginia.edu/keller-lab/