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THE MCLAUGHLIN LAB – The biology of becoming: developmental decisions

ORGANOGENESIS: DEVELOPMENT, REMODELING, REGENERATION

Our lab uses the amphibian model system, Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) as a model organism to elucidate how complex structures such as tissues and organs are formed during development, and repaired after injury.

The creation of organs during development constitutes one of the most interesting, yet least understood biological processes. The careful regulation of gene expression directs the developmental fates of cells, and coordinates their assembly into complex, three-dimensional structures with characteristic shapes, sizes, and physiological properties. During development cells undergo an elaborate interplay of cell behaviors such as: proliferation, migration, growth, differentiation, and death, in order to form tissues and organs at the proper time and place during embryogenesis. The intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms used to generate cell diversity, coordinate cell movements, and regulate the development of different tissues needed to create a functional organ, define one of the central questions in science today. Our research aims to discover the basic mechanisms of vertebrate (1) organ development, (2) remodeling, and (3) regeneration/repair.

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