Tony Tsai

Assistant Professor of Developmental Biology

    • Source: Scopus
    1994 …2020

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    Embryo development is remarkably robust. Despite environmental fluctuations and the noisy nature of biochemical processes, tissue patterns and morphology are often highly stereotypic. Building tissues in such a reproducible fashion is not trivial. Artificial tissues or organoid culture grown ex vivo are highly variable, and these inconsistencies are a big setback for their potential medical applications. We believe valuable lessons can be learned by asking how embryos build tissues reproducibly. What are the sources of variations in a developmental process, and how do embryos buffer these variations and reduce errors to develop robustly?

    We are particularly interested in the crosstalk between biochemical signaling and cell mechanics. How do cells integrate biochemical and mechanical inputs to make reliable decisions on what cell types they become, where they migrate, and what structure they collectively build? Using zebrafish as the primary model, our lab will address these questions by interdisciplinary approaches such as quantitative live microscopy, biomechanical assays, CRISPR genetics, single cell genomics, and computational modeling.

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