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How cell migration and differentiation are coordinated during morphogenesis (360G-Wellcome-220209_Z_20_Z)

During development the embryo needs to generate functional organs composed of many different cell types, often originated in different embryonic location. Thus, it is clear that cell differentiation and migration need to be tightly coordinated, although they are often studied as independent processes. Here I will test the hypothesis that cell migration and differentiations are coordinated by tissue mechanics in vivo. Specifically, I will challenge the current view that cell migration is the result of differentiation, by testing instead whether the reverse occurs, i.e. migration controls differentiation. I will use neural crest cell, a multipotent embryonic cell population in which cell differentiation is always linked to cell migration. One of the problems to study biomechanics in vivo is the limited number of tools to measure and modify mechanical properties in vivo. Here I will develop new tools to analyse and change tissue stiffness in vivo. We will analyse how these mechanical changes influence cell migration and differentiation, and we will identify the molecular response elicited in the neural crest cells. We expect that this multidisciplinary project will provide answers to a central yet unresolved question in developmental biology: how cell fate and migration are integrated during embryo development.


31 Mar 2020

Grant details
Amount Awarded 1734742
Applicant Surname Mayor
Approval Committee Science Interview Panel
Award Date 2020-03-31T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2019/20
Grant Programme: Title Investigator Award in Science
Internal ID 220209/Z/20/Z
Lead Applicant Prof Roberto Mayor
Planned Dates: End Date 2025-06-30T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2020-07-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region Greater London
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