SKI’s Developmental Biology Program is one of the most well-regarded and innovative programs of its type in the world, with a rich history of major contributions to the field. Our scientists study the mechanisms that control development from the single cell of the egg to the adult animal. They employ a variety of experimental tools, including genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry, as well as model systems, in order to address complex questions of pattern formation, organogenesis, and morphogenesis in the context of the whole animal. They are leaders in the study of both invertebrate and mammalian development. Several of our faculty participate in the Center for Stem Cell Biology at MSK, which is developing innovative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
Scientists in the program focus on several different areas, including:
- Developmental Genetics
- Patterning of Tissues and Organs
- Intercellular Signaling in Development and Cancer
- Stem Cells
- Elizabeth H. Lacy, PhD
Developmental biologist Elizabeth Lacy studies the mechanisms of gastrulation and organogenesis during mouse development.
- Eric C. Lai, PhD
Developmental biologist Eric Lai integrates genetics, biochemistry, and genomewide approaches to study diverse regulatory networks during patterning and behavior.
- Songhai Shi, PhD
Developmental neurobiologist Songhai Shi investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying mammalian neuronal development and circuit formation.
- Lorenz Studer, MD
Developmental biologist Lorenz Studer investigates human stem cells as tools to understand normal and pathological development in the nervous system and to develop cell-based strategies for regenerative medicine.
- Thomas S. Vierbuchen, PhD
Developmental biologist Thomas Vierbuchen directs the differentiation of mouse and human pluripotent stem cells to characterize fundamental mechanisms of neuronal cell fate specification and function.
- Jennifer A. Zallen, PhD
Developmental biologist Jennifer Zallen focuses on the generation of tissue structure through the collective action of cell populations.
Collaborations & Resources
SKI offers a wide array of core facilities and other technologies, as well as significant opportunity for collaboration. Members of the Developmental Biology Program derive particular benefit from close ties to the following: