The McGraw lab studies the molecular and cellular basis of embryonic development. We use the zebrafish as a model organism because the embryos develop independently from their mother and are optically transparent, making them amenable to live time-lapse imaging. Embryonic development requires the exquisite coordination of multiple cellular behaviors such as proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Collective cell migration, which is movement of cells as a cohesive group, is a critical process during embryonic organ formation, wound healing and is inappropriately co-opted during the invasion of certain cancers. By understanding how diverse populations of cells coordinate their behavior while also maintaining migratory behavior, we hope to elucidate the basic processes of organogenesis in the developing embryo and how these processes are dysregulated in some invasive cancers.
Cell Biology & Biophysics
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