Growing Embryos in a Growing Lab:
Opening New Avenues for Our Research on Early Embryo Life
Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz will be expanding her research group, opening a new laboratory at Caltech, located in Pasadena, California, USA
Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We will be joining the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering which focuses on expanding knowledge about the nature of life.
Look out for job opportunities in our new lab here: http://bbe.divisions.caltech.edu/positions/postdoctoral-postiton-natural-and-synthetic-embryology
Early embryos kept in check or how embryos coordinate the exit from pluripotency?
Pluripotency regulates mouse and human embryonic morphogenesis: cells in an unrestricted naive pluripotent state (Nanog+, yellow) fail to undergo proper morphogenesis and do not form the amniotic cavity (left). Loss of naive pluripotency (cells lacking Nanog expression) directs morphogenesis and amniotic cavity formation (right)..
The next generation of artificial embryos: Embryo-like structures built from stem cells capable of ‘gastrulation’, a key life event
Self-assembly of embryonic and two extra-embryonic stem cell types into gastrulating embryo-like structures. Sozen B et al., 2018. Nature Cell Biology
The remarkable ability of three stem cell types to self-assemble in vitro into gastrulating embryo-like structures (middle) undertaking spatio-temporal events of the gastrulating mammalian embryo (right).
How are experimental models shaping our understanding of early mammalian developement?
Deconstructing and reconstructing the mouse and human early embryo. Shahbazi, M and Zernicka-Goetz, M. 2018. Nature Cell Biology
A timely review on the post-implantation mammalian embryo and how recent technologies have helped to investigate form and function during development. We explore the complex processes of embryogenesis and the multiple regulatory levels involved.
In The Press:
A Perspective Series Investigating The Future of Fertility
An original series on the Future of Fertility by OZY looks at where science is headed — and who’s leading the charge.
Celebrating women in science: a new profile of the work in our lab examines our attempts to solve the mysteries of the embryo. Written by science journalist, Marissa Fessenden. Click here to view the story.
Illustration by Zoe Van Dijk.
The Dance of Life:
Symmetry, Cells and How we Become Human
A new book by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz and Roger Highfield coming out in July 2019. A moving celebration of the balletic beauty of life’s beginnings.
The Dance of Life will take you inside the incredible world of life just as it begins and reveals the wonder of the earliest and most profound moments in how we become human. Through Magda’s trailblazing research as a professor at Cambridge you’ll learn how early life starts to take shape and discover the true beauty of life’s beginnings.
Further details here: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1116560/the-dance-of-life/9780753552926.html
REVIEW: Self-organization of stem cells into embryos: A window on early mammalian development
Organoids and development: A new review published in Science by Marta Shahbazi, Eric Siggia, and Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz.
Here, we review the principles of self-organization and how they set cells in motion to create an embryo. For full access, click on links below:
Meet the lab
Dr. Andy Cox
Dr. Marta Shahbazi
Dr. Neophytos Christodoulou
Dr. Gianluca Amadei
Dr. Matteo Mole
Lorenzo Carlo Orietti
Hannah Sharplin Lab Technician/PA
Best lab citizen:
The long-term goal of our work is to understand the development of cell lineages and patterning in the early mammalian embryo.
Imaging a human embryo in the absence of maternal tissues
Shahbazi M et al. 2016 Nat Cell Biol
Early heterogeneity in
4-cell mouse embryos
Goolam et al. 2016 Cell
Cdx2 or not Cdx2..?
Jedrusik A et al. 2014 Dev Biol
Artificial mouse embryo
from stem cells
Artificial embryos from stem
cells: A step closer
Establishing cell polarity in