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Institut de Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard, CNRS UPR 3294
Av. de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
tel: (33) 1-69 82 41 42 fax: (33) 1-69 82 34 47
The team studies the early steps of the morphogenesis of the neural plaque and neural tube, by developing new methods of multiscale analysis (molecular networks, cell interactions, tissue morphogenesis. These approaches require the collaboration of physicists and informaticians. They are based on the in vivo analysis of the cellular morphodynamic with long-term recordings with bi-photon microscopes of transparent animals, members of the main groups of chordates (sea urchin, amphioxus, ascidia, zebrafish), and expressing fluorescent reporters in structures of interest. The goal is to compare the embryonic midline structures (mesoderm and prechordal plate), as well as corresponding signals (Nodal, Wnts, Shh, BMPs) involved in the early regionalization of the neural tube. The project is also using zebrafish mutants for components of the Nodal and Wnts pathways and high-resolution maps of gene expression made in the group. Real-time analysis of molecular and cellular dynamics, as commonly used in statistical physics, allows to tackle the biomechanical processes operating during neural tube formation.