Math Biology Seminar: Joy Richman

  • Date: 02/06/2019
  • Time: 14:45
Joy Richma, UBC

University of British Columbia


Organized cell movement is a major mechanism underlying facial morphogenesis


There are numerous genetic, molecular and physical factors that all need to be carefully orchestrated to create the face. When one or more of these processes goes awry during embryonic development, birth defects such as cleft lip result. In the past, our work has focused on several molecular signals and how they regulate facial growth. Here we investigate in an unbiased manner, the extrinsic and intrinsic factors contributing to shaping of the face. This presentation will describe new methods to track embryonic mesenchymal cells by marking cell nuclei in a defined culture system. These tracking data were analyzed over time and space to determine the order and disorder in the tissue. K-means clustering revealed a surprising degree of coordination in regions of the tissue. The normalization of the data throughout the whole centre of the face showed that there was a high degree of right-left symmetry. These reflected data support strong genetic control over cell movements. Furthermore, the block of intrinsic cytoskeletal remodeling with a drug, completely disrupted these conserved patterns of cell movements. Taken together the collaboration between biologists and mathematicians has shed new light on the fundamental mechanisms driving facial morphogenesis.

Other Information: 

Location: ESB 4127