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Presented By: DCMB Seminar Series

DCMB / CCMB Weekly Seminar

Tomer Stern, PhD (Asst. Prof., Dentistry, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, School of Dentistry)


From the initial genetic patterning to the assembly of the whole embryo, how ordered structures form has always been a fundamental question in developmental biology. The recent advances in imaging technologies are now providing us with direct visual access to the development of whole organisms in unprecedented detail. However, it is clear that to make the best use of this complex data, we need the help of computer algorithms that can mine it for biologically relevant information, summarize and then visualize it for us. The first project I will present focuses on the mechanisms driving the development of diverse 3D bone morphologies in mice. There, we developed algorithms to analyze micro-CT images to deconstruct the final morphology of each bone into the contributions made by remodeling of mineralized tissue vs. the cartilaginous growth plates. This allowed us to demonstrate the central role of the growth plate in 3D bone morphogenesis in normal and pathological development. The second project aims to understand how different cell activities contribute to large-scale morphogenetic movements. To this end, we generated the first whole embryo single-cell atlas of morphogenetic activity underlying gastrulation in the fruit fly, then used these maps to derive a statistical model associating cell shape changes and rearrangements to body axis elongation.

Areas of Interest:

My lab focuses on understanding how cells organize to form various tissue morphologies during normal and pathological development. We use two model systems to achieve this: the musculoskeletal system in mice and whole embryo development in fruit flies. Our approach centers on the development of cutting-edge bioimage informatics and data science algorithms to analyze the dynamics and the underlying patterns in developing tissues through 3D and 4D (3D+time) fluorescence images.

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