The Centre of Excellence conducts research in experimental and computational developmental biology. It has diverse expertise in the development of different organs as well as in computer modelling of development and evolution. The main areas of focus are the development of teeth, hair, mammary glands and fly wings. All these organs develop from the outer layer of the embryo, and their development is regulated by similar mechanisms.
The CoE is interested in understanding the logic governing the shape and regeneration of organs. What is it in the gene regulatory networks that directs the formation of different organs? What kinds of developmental changes are seen during evolution? And how are new organs constructed from stem cells?
The aim of the CoE is to gain an understanding of the general principles governing the formation of different organs and to understand how gene mutations cause disturbances in organ development. In addition, it is working to develop different kinds of tools for the modelling of organs as well as imaging and culture methods for the experimental analysis of organ development and regeneration. The results obtained and tools developed in this work have application in basic research, teaching and in the future in building organs from stem cells.
Director: academy professor Jukka Jernvall, first.last(at)helsinki.fi
Isaac Salazar-Ciudad, University of Helsinki
Irma Thesleff, University of Helsinki
Osamu Shimmi, University of Helsinki
Marja Mikkola, University of Helsinki