The development of multicellular organism is a remarkably reproducible process. Cells are exposed to chemical cues that pattern tissues to specify regions of different cell types that will later on give rise to distinct body parts. Interestingly, the noisy signalling events are interpreted to establish cell fate with striking precision of a few cell diameters. How such remarkable precision is achieved is a fundamental question in biology that is still poorly understood.
We focus on unravelling biophysical mechanisms that result in the remarkably precise formation of gene expression patterns (cell fates) in developing organisms. The questions we ask are:
- How is information decoded in developmental systems?
- What types of regulatory mechanisms enhance patterning precision?
- How does feedback between source and target tissue alter pattern reproducibility?
To address these questions, we combine methods from theoretical physics with data driven analysis. We work closely with experimental labs. In many cases, the model predictions are verified experimentally bringing new insights about the underlying biological system.
The project Polish Returns no. PPN/PPO/2018/1/00011/U/00001, “Principles of information decoding in developmental systems” is financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange. The project SONATA no. 2017/26/D/NZ2/00454, “Regulatory mechanisms for reproducible neural pattern specification in the developing spinal cords” is financed by the National Science Center, Poland.