Developmental Biology

Molecular Cell Dynamics

Life of every multicellular organism depends on the functional cellular network that enables an interaction of many different cell types. This network is formed during embryonic development by a combination of cell migration and cellular growth. Eventually the specific target cell has to be recognized and a stable adhesion is established. We are interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying these cellular processes by studying myogenesis and the migration of the primordial germ cells in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster.

We apply a range of cell and molecular biology techniques combined with genetic and transgenic approaches to identify and characterize novel gene activities involved in migration and adhesion. Drosophila is used as a model since it offers both powerful genetic tools and high-performance imaging methods to investigate the dynamics of migration in vivo. Furthermore, since morphological aspects as well as many gene functions are conserved between vertebrates and Drosophila, we anticipate that the results obtained will have a broad impact on similar processes and functions in higher organisms.