Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, College of Engineering
Office: 122C Cushing Hall
Identifying the control systems for tissue repair is important for understanding the underlying causes of birth defects. The formation of an embryo is an extraordinarily robust process, exhibiting the ability to control tissue size in the face of environmental and genetic perturbations. Such size control is achieved via coordination of cell growth, proliferation, death and rearrangement, and can be divided into two steps: initial specification and maintenance. While much work has focused on the specification of cellular fates during early embryonic development, the mechanisms that ensure the maintenance of tissue sizes remain poorly understood.
The Zartman lab develops and applies multidisciplinary approaches to study the robust size specification and tissue repair mechanisms of epithelial tissues. Epithelia form the outside layer of organs and play both functional and protective roles. Through collaborative efforts with multiple groups, our research focuses on the following efforts: (1) the development of computational models of tissue size regulation, which couple cell mechanics with biochemical signaling; (2) the quantitative analysis of cell-cell communication and cell dynamics through live-imaging studies at the scale of whole tissues; and (3) the application of reverse-engineering methods to analyze experimental data to facilitate computational model validation and hypothesis testing. These efforts help provide a fundamental basis for discoveries that can advance both disease diagnosis and inspire new therapeutic strategies.
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