- Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
164 College Street, RS405
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Research Theme: Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, and Regenerative Medicine
During morphogenesis, groups of cells coordinate their behaviors to generate tissue form and function. Cell coordination involves diverse cellular processes such as motility, adhesion, and the generation and transmission of mechanical forces. We use a combination of bioengineering, molecular and cell biological tools in the fruit fly embryo to determine the mechanisms that integrate the behaviors of multiple cells to generate specific changes in tissue organization. Wound repair is a conserved morphogenetic process that involves changes in cell shape, molecular localization and the distribution of mechanical forces to close a gap in a tissue. Because wound closure in embryos occurs in the absence of inflammation or scarring, understanding its molecular basis will be of high clinical relevance for surgical recovery and regenerative medicine. We investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of wound healing using a three-pronged approach. First, we use computational and live imaging approaches to determine the dynamic cell shape and molecular changes involved in wound closure in the Drosophila embryo. Second, we screen for molecules that mediate the assembly of force-generating structures during wound healing. Finally, we use biophysical methods to investigate how wound repair is influenced by the mechanical properties of the wounded tissue, and how these properties are regulated during the healing process.
Wounded cells drive rapid epidermal repair in the early Drosophila embryo. Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Zallen JA. Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Aug 28. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 23985320.
Gastrulation: cell polarity comes full circle. Hunter MV, Fernandez-Gonzalez R. Curr Biol. 2013 Sep 23;23(18):R845-8. PMID: 24070446.
Feeling the squeeze: live-cell extrusion limits cell density in epithelia. Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Zallen JA. Cell. 2012 May 25.149(5):965-7.
Oscillatory behaviors and hierarchical assembly of contractile structures in intercalating cells. Fernandez-Gonzalez ,. and Zallen JA. Physical Biology. 8(4): 045005. 2011 Aug.
3D reconstruction of histological sections: application to mammary gland tissue. Arganda-Carreras I, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Muñoz-Barrutia A, and Ortiz-de-Solorzano C. Microsc Res Tech. 2010 Oct. 73(11):1019-29.
Rho-kinase directs Bazooka/Par-3 planar polarity during Drosophila axis elongation. Developmental Cell. Simoes S, Blankenship JT, Weitz O, Farrell DL, Tamada M, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, and Zallen JA. 2010 Sep 14. 19(3):377-388.
Integration of contractile forces during tissue invagination. Martin AC, Gelbart M, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Kaschube M, and Wieschaus EF. J Cell Biol. 2010 Mar 8. 188(5):735-49.
In situ analysis of mammary progenitors. Fernandez-Gonzalez R., Illa-Bochaca I., Shelton D. N., Welm B. E., Barcellos-Hoff M. H., and Ortiz-de-Solorzano C. Methods in Molecular Biology: Protocols for Adult Stem Cells, vol. 621, pp. 1-28, 2010.
Myosin II dynamics are regulated by tension in intercalating cells. Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Simoes Sde M, Röper JC, Eaton S, Zallen JA.Dev Cell. 2009 Nov. 17(5):736-43.
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