Building organs: lessons from the fly
My lab is interested in how organ form and function emerge during development. Areas of investigation include: how organ size and shape are controlled; how cell and tissue polarity are established; what makes cells become different and adopt specialised functions; and, how do these functions integrate to produce the emergent properties of the organ. We focus on simple organs in Drosophila, which have the advantage of being easy to manipulate experimentally yet share many features with the more complex organs found in vertebrates.
I will present an overview of our research, focusing on the mechanisms that shape and pattern the renal tubules, and discuss recent data investigating the mechanisms of mechanosensation in the heart.