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I am interested in the establishment of cell fate and spatial pattern in vertebrate embryos. Embryonic cells must integrate information from a diverse array of extracellular signals in order to make developmental decisions. For example, ectoderm cells choose between neural and epidermal fates in response to several growth factors, including Bone Morphogenetic Protein-4 (BMP4), which induces epidermis, as well as Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) and Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF), which have been implicated in the specification of neural fate. Studies in my lab investigate signaling pathway interactions and transcriptional regulation in the establishment of ectodermal fate and anteroposterior pattern in Xenopus embryos.