B.A. (Mathematics and Biology), Hampshire College, 1987
Ph.D. (Zoology), University of Washington, 2000
My lab works at the interface between experimental and computational cell and developmental biology. Our goal is to understand how the dynamic behaviors of embryonic cells and tissues emerge through the interplay between biochemical regulation, cytoskeletal dynamics and cytomechanics. We are particularly interested in how embryonic cells organize, modulate and deploy actomyosin contractility to do different jobs in different contexts, and how these local contractile forces are integrated across many cells to produce tissue-level morphogenesis. We focus mainly in two areas: cell polarization and asymmetric cell division in the nematode worm C. elegans, and the dynamics of cellular morphogenesis in ascidians. Most of our studies are highly interdisciplinary, combining quantitative microscopy, molecular genetic, pharmacological and physical manipulations, and computer simulations. Over the years, we have spent a significant amount of time developing simulation methods and software that are quite generally applicable to problems in cell and developmental biology, and we are eager to put these tools to use through collaborations with other groups around problems of mutual interest.