We use live-cell microscopy, nano-rheology, and synthetic biology to understand oocyte ageing, embryogenesis, and cancer onset.
Ooctye ageing and embryogenesis. Every animal begins its life as a dormant oocyte that experiences a dramatic reawakening upon fertilization. How does the oocyte stay dormant until fertilization? What happens to oocytes as they age, and how does this lead to infertility? How does fertilization activate organelle assembly and division?We strive to understand the mechanisms of organelle assembly in the early embryo by studying the nematode C. elegans. We also use purified proteins to build minimal embryonic organelles like the centrosome.
Cancer onset and metastasis. The hallmarks of cancer are well established. But how does a normal cell become cancerous in the first place? Dysregulation of a membrane-less organelle called the centrosome can trigger tumor formation and metastasis.