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Pulses of Rho-Kinase direct contraction pulses during morphogenesisEmbryo expressing a Venus-tagged Rho-Kinase and Cherry-tagged myosin demonstrates that both myosin could be regulated by dynamic upstream signals. Video / Claudia Vasquez

Rogues galleryMutants have differing affects on myosin organization in each cell, but most of these mutants disrupt pulsing behavior. Video / Claudia Vasquez

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Lab News

Adam Martin promoted to Associate ProfessorAdam promoted to Associate Professor | February 2016

Adam has been promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2016.

Jeanne Jodoin publishes Developmental Cell paper!Jeanne publishes Developmental Cell paper | December 2015

Congratulations Jeanne, for publishing her work "Stable Force Balance between Epithelial Cells Arises from F-Actin Turnover" in Developmental Cell. Jeanne showed that stable force balance between cells in a tissue requires robust actin filament turnover. The paper was also highlighted by the journal. Read the paper and the highlight article.


Shicong (Mimi) Xie defended her thesis!Congratulations Dr. Xie | December 2015

Mimi Xie successfully defended her thesis. She gave an excellent seminar to our community. Nice job Mimi!


Hannah Yevick wins Nano-K 2015 Thesis Prize!Hannah Yevick Wins Nano-K 2015 Thesis Prize | October 2015

Congratulations Hannah Yevick, for winning the Nano-K 2015 Thesis Prize for interdisciplinary research. This is a national award in France for excellent PhD theses that cross disciplines.


Congratulations Dr. Vasquez!Congratulations Dr. Vasquez! | September 2015

Claudia Vasquez successfully defended her thesis. She gave a stellar seminar to faculty, friends, and colleagues at MIT. Nice job!


Welcome postdoc Hannah Yevick!Welcome Hannah Yevick | July 2015

Hannah received her Ph.D. from the Institut Curie in Paris, France. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Physics and she published a really cool paper on cells walking a “tightrope.” She is interested in collective cell behavior changing tissue shape.


Jeanne Jodoin received an F32 fellowship from the NIHJeanne Jodoin awarded NIH F32 Fellowship | June 2015

Congratulations to Jeanne Jodoin, who was awarded a prestigious NIH F32 postdoctoral fellowship.


Elena Kingston won a best poster prize at the 2015 Building 68 retreatElena Kingston wins poster prize | June 2015

Congratulations Elena Kingston on winning the best poster prize at the Building 68 retreat. We have won a poster prize each year for the past 3 years. Nice job Mimi, Claudia, and now Elena.


MIT Biology graduate student, Clint Ko, is joining our labWelcome Clint Ko | June 2015

Biology graduate student, Clint Ko, is joining our lab. Clint was an undergrad at Cornell University where he worked on plant development. We are happy he has turned to the fruit fly for his next system.


Shicong 'Mimi' Xie's publication in Nature CommunicationsMimi Xie’s paper in Nature Communications | May, 2015

Congratulations to graduate student, Mimi Xie, for her publication "Intracellular signalling and intercellular coupling coordinate heterogeneous contractile events to facilitate tissue folding” in Nature Communications. In the paper, Mimi showed that cells exhibit three classes of contractile events, unconstricting, unratcheted, and ratcheted. Mimi demonstrated that cells undergo transitions between different classes of contractions, going from unconstricting or unratcheted contractions to ratcheted contractions. A transcription factor that regulates this developmental stage is important for the proper order of contractile events. It is important for cells to generate ratcheted contractions because this promotes cooperation between cells.


Elena KingstonElena Kingston accepted to MIT Biology PhD program | April, 2015

Congratulations Elena Kingston! Elena, our technical assistant, has decided to stay at MIT and complete her thesis. We are thrilled that you will still be around.

Yujie LiWelcome Yujie Li | October, 2014

Yujie joins us from the University of Chicago where she completed her Ph.D. with David Kovar. For her graduate work, Yujie worked on developing in vitro assays for imaging molecular interactions with actin filaments.


Claudia Vasquez's publication in The Journal of Cell BiologyClaudia Vasquez publishes paper in The JCB | August, 2014

Congratulations graduate student Claudia Vasquez on her publication "Dynamic myosin phosphorylation regulates contractile pulses and tissue integrity during epithelial morphogenesis" in The Journal of Cell Biology. Claudia's paper was also highlighted in a video interview with the JCB news editor.


Elena KingstonWelcome Elena Kingston | June, 2014

Elena, our new Technical Assistant, graduated from Swarthmore College in May 2014. Elena spent a summer doing research in David Stern's lab at Janelia Farm.


Soline ChanetSoline Chanet publishes a book chapter | June, 2014

Congratulations Soline on the publication of a book chapter Mechanical Force Sensing in Tissues!


Jeanne JodoinWelcome Jeanne Jodoin! | January, 2014

Jeanne comes to us from Vanderbilt University where she received a Ph.D. for her work on the mechanisms of dynein motor localization.


Jonathan CoravosJonathan Coravos Passed Qualifying Exam! | October, 2013

Congratulations to graduate student, Jonathan Coravos, on passing his qualifying exam.


Frank Mason's publication in Nature Cell BiologyNature Cell Biology Paper | July, 2013

Congratulations to postdoc, Frank Mason, for the recent publication of his paper, "Apical domain polarization promotes actin-myosin assembly to drive ratchet-like apical constriction on Nature Cell Biology." In the paper, Mason et al. show that the signals that regulate contractile forces in constricting cells exhibit a spatial organization within the apical domain of the cell. Signals that activate myosin motors are polarized to the center of the apical domain. Actin polymerization in this domain suppresses junctional protein localization, restricting junctional proteins to cell-cell interfaces. Thus, a “radial” cell polarity is established, which is shown to be important for apical constriction.


Natalie HeerWelcome Natalie Heer | May, 2013

Biology graduate student, Natalie Heer, joins the lab. Natalie received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University where she worked in the Reck-Peterson lab on dynein motility.


Shicong (Mimi) XieMimi Xie Passed Qualifying Exam! | April, 2013

Congratulations to graduate student, Mimi Xie, on passing her qualifying exam.


Claudia VasquezClaudia Vasquez Passed Qualifying Exam | January, 2013

Congratulations to graduate student, Claudia Vasquez, on passing her qualifying exam.


Soline ChanetSoline Chanet awarded EMBO Long-Term Fellowship | December, 2012

Congratulations to postdoc, Soline Chanet, for being awarded an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship