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In vivo studies of cellular and subcellular mechanisms that build the vertebrate brain

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We are examining the role of cell intrinsic behaviours, cues from the extracellular matrix and biomechanics during the early development of the vertebrate brain. We use the zebrafish embryo as our model because its accessibility and superior optical qualities allow high resolution in vivo imaging. Our work examines the role of cell division in morphogenesis, the factors that orchestrate development of the ventricular surface and the factors that orient the inside-out axis of the developing brain. Additionally we reveal a novel self-renewing progenitor in the brainstem that not only generates a distinct neural lineage but also acts as a dynamic architectural link between two very distinct types of epithelium.

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