2017 lab News
Congratulations Dr. Heer | December 2017
Congratulations to graduate student, Natalie Heer, on giving an excellent research presentation and successfully defending her thesis. Best of luck at your new position as a Data Scientist.
Natalie publishes Development review | November 2017
Congratulations to graduate student, Natalie Heer, for publishing her review article "Tension, Contraction and Tissue Morphogenesis" in Development. Natalie contributed to the special issue celebrating the 100th anniversary of "On Growth and Form." Her review article describes the latest research explaining how forces are generated to sculpt tissues.
Soline publishes Current Biology paper | November 2017
Congratulations to Soline on publishing her work "Myosin 2-Induced Mitotic Rounding Enables Columnar Epithelial Cells to Interpret Cortical Spindle Positioning Cues" in Current Biology. Soline showed how mitotic cell rounding is critical to orient cell division such that both daughter cells remain in the tissue.
Marlis Passed Qualifying Exam | October 2017
Congratulations to graduate student, Marlis Denk-Lobnig, on passing her qualifying exam.
Soline's paper is accepted by Current Biology | September 2017
Congratulations to Soline on her paper being accepted by Current Biology. Soline discovered that mitotic cell rounding is critical to orient cell division in the plane of an epithelium.
Soline publishes Nature Communications paper | May 2017
Congratulations to Soline on publishing her work "Actomyosin Meshwork Mechanosensing Enables Tissue Shape to Orient Cell Force" in Nature Communications. Soline discovered a mechanism by which tissue and organism shape can instruct cells how to generate force. This has implications in understanding how tissues and organs acquire their correct shape.
Natalie publishes Development paper | April 2017
Congratulations Natalie on publishing her work "Actomyosin-based Tissue Folding Requires a Multicellular Myosin Gradient" in Development. Natalie discovered that a tissue-wide gradient in transcription and resulting contractility is necessary to fold a tissue. We had fun collaborating with Pearson Miller and the Dunkel Lab on this project.
Soline's paper is accepted by Nature Communications | February 2017
Congratulations Soline on her paper being accepted by Nature Communications. Can’t wait to see the field’s reaction to this. And the inevitable Lord of the Rings puns.
Congratulations Dr. Coravos | February 2017
Jonathan Coravos gave an amazing seminar and successfully defended his thesis. Well done Jonathan! Have fun in Chile!
2016 lab News
Claudia Vasquez publishes eLife paper | December 2016
Congratulations Claudia on publishing her work "Drosophila Non-muscle Myosin II Motor Activity Determines the Rate of Tissue Folding" in eLife. Claudia demonstrated that myosin 2 motor activity sets the rate of apical constriction and tissue folding, showing that myosin 2 is the motor that drives these processes. This work was the result of a great collaboration with James Sellers’ lab at the National Institutes of Health.
Jonathan Coravos publishes Developmental Cell paper | October 2016
Congratulations Jonathan on publishing his work "Apical Sarcomere-like Actomyosin Contracts Nonmuscle Drosophila Epithelial Cells" in Developmental Cell. Jonathan discovered that the apical actin cortex of an epithelial cell can be organized like a muscle sarcomere to promote contraction and tissue folding.
Lab wins Halloween group costume contest | October 2016
The Martin lab won the coveted group costume competition for the Biology department Halloween party. They had a winning combination of fish-like pillows and various forms of wasabi.
Frank Mason publishes JCB paper | August 2016
Congratulations Frank on publishing his work "LRhoA GTPase Inhibition Organizes Contraction During Epithelial Morphogenesis" in The Journal of Cell Biology! Frank showed how inhibiting RhoA can promote contraction during tissue folding. And read the Spotlight article on our paper, written by Alpha Yap. Also, congratulations on your new position as a Research Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University!
Mimi Xie publishes MBoC paper | August 2016
Congratulations Mimi Xie for publishing her work "Loss of Gα12/13 Exacerbates Apical Area-dependence of Actomyosin Contractility" in Molecular Biology of the Cell! Mimi showed how apical actin density can depend on apex size. Suppressing this dependence is important to coordinate contractility across a tissue.
Jeanne Jodoin publishes MBoC paper | July 2016
Congratulations Jeanne Jodoin for publishing her work "Abl Suppresses Cell Extrusion and Intercalation During Epithelium Folding" in Molecular Biology of the Cell! Jeanne showed how the Abelson tyrosine kinase suppresses an EMT-like cell extrusion during tissue folding.
Hannah Yevick awarded NIH F32 fellowship | July 2016
Congratulations to Dr. Hannah Yevick for being awarded a prestigious NIH fellowship.
Welcome Marlis Denk-Lobnig | June 2016
Biology student Marlis Denk-Lobnig joins the lab. Marlis did her undergraduate work at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany. Marlis is interested in applying computational approaches to studying signaling networks in an embryo.
Adam promoted to Associate Professor | February 2016
Adam has been promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2016.
2015 lab news
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.
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 | 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 | September 2015
Claudia Vasquez successfully defended her thesis. She gave a stellar seminar to faculty, friends, and colleagues at MIT. Nice job!
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 awarded NIH F32 Fellowship | June 2015
Congratulations to Jeanne Jodoin, who was awarded a prestigious NIH F32 postdoctoral fellowship.
Elena 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.
Welcome 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.
Mimi 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 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.
2014 lab news
Welcome 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 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.
Welcome 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 Chanet publishes a book chapter | June 2014
Congratulations Soline on the publication of a book chapter Mechanical Force Sensing in Tissues!
Welcome 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.
2013 lab news
Jonathan Coravos Passed Qualifying Exam | October 2013
Congratulations to graduate student, Jonathan Coravos, on passing his qualifying exam.
Nature 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.
Welcome 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.
Mimi Xie Passed Qualifying Exam | April, 2013
Congratulations to graduate student, Mimi Xie, on passing her qualifying exam.
Claudia Vasquez Passed Qualifying Exam | January 2013
Congratulations to graduate student, Claudia Vasquez, on passing her qualifying exam.
2012 lab news
Soline Chanet awarded EMBO Long-Term Fellowship | December 2012
Congratulations to postdoc, Soline Chanet, for being awarded an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship