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Enabling tools for imaging cell dynamics and interactions in tissue morphogenesis, growth, and remodeling.

Alvin Yeh, PhD

Healthy, functional tissue is dependent on its composition, organization, and processes that develop, maintain, and repair and heal. Development of tissue form, or morphogenesis, its maintenance, or homeostasis, and adaptation to its altered environment are tightly regulated processes that are dynamic and complex. However, misregulation of these processes may lead to tissue deformation, dysfunction, maladaptation, and disease. Understanding these processes requires enabling technologies that appreciate the dynamism, complexity, and 3D heterogeneity of living tissues. Our research is founded on the development of novel microscopy based on broadband, ultrashort laser pulses to provide unique perspectives on these processes in intact, living systems. Two approaches to understanding these processes will be discussed in which we characterize cell-matrix interactions in reconstituted tissues responding to controlled mechanical culture environments and characterize cell dynamics and interactions in the formation of a signaling center, the isthmic organizer, in the developing embryonic brain.

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