Of folds and lumens: how cells build complex 3D structures

Department of Biology Seminar Series
Claudia Vasquez, Stanford University
- | Tedori Auditorium
Dr. Vasquez

The study of cell shape has taught us many lessons about cellular function and dysfunction; however, we are just beginning to understand how this basic attribute drives form and function at the level of multicellular tissues. Work by myself and others has illuminated how fascinatingly interconnected cell shape is with dynamic, emergent properties of animal tissues. I have sought to understand an archetypal, yet still largely mysterious process; how a hollow opening, or lumen, is constructed from a solid mass of cells. In parallel, I have employed cryo-electron tomography to directly visualize the molecular-scale architecture of cell-cell contacts, the essential building blocks for multicellular tissues. These projects form the basis for my research program aimed uncovering the emergent properties cells use to build higher-order tissue structures


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