IAM – PIMS Distinguished Colloquium: Stas Shvartsman

  • Date: 09/28/2015
  • Time: 15:00
Stas Shvartsman, Princeton University

University of British Columbia


From Two-Dimensional Sheets to Three-Dimensional Structures in Developing Tissues


I will present the results of our recent work on epithelial morphogenesis, a highly conserved set of processes that transform two-dimensional sheets of cells into complex three-dimensional structures. Such transformations play key roles during embryogenesis and their understanding is important both from a purely scientific standpoint and for the design of man-made tissues and organs. Our laboratory is using the eggshell morphogenesis in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model for studying epithelial morphogenesis in a relatively simple setting, with a constant number of cells. Based on the combination of time lapse imaging studies and three-dimensional image reconstructions we found that epithelial morphogenesis in this system can be viewed as a two-stage process, in which buckling of a group of cells out of a curved sheet is followed by ordered cell rearrangements, generating a tube-like structure. A small number of cells involved in this transformation (<100) and their reproducible dynamics enable its computational modeling. I will present models based on vertex description of cell sheets and discuss some applied mathematical problems that arise in the analysis of these models.




Osterfield M, Du X, Schüpbach T, Wieschaus E, Shvartsman SY. Three-dimensional epithelial morphogenesis in the developing Drosophila egg. Dev Cell. 2013 Feb 25;24(4):400-10.


Fletcher AG, Osterfield M, Baker RE, Shvartsman SY. Vertex models of epithelial morphogenesis. Biophys J. 2014 Jun 3;106(11):2291-304.


Osterfield M, Schüpbach T, Wieschaus E, Shvartsman SY. Diversity of epithelial morphogenesis during eggshell formation in drosophilids. Development. 2015 Jun 1;142(11):1971-7.

Other Information: 

Location: ESB 2012