BIOE Seminar: Mechanobiology of vertebrate gut morphogenesis

Friday, December 9, 2022
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
A. James Clark Hall, Room 2121
BIOE Comms

Nandan Nerurkar
Columbia University
Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering

Mechanobiology of vertebrate gut morphogenesis.


Embryonic development occurs through profound physical transformations as a simple sheet of stem cells progressively gives rise to complex, diverse, yet precisely organized morphologies of our various organ systems. As a result, studying organogenesis requires an understanding not only of the molecular and genetic cues that inform cell dates, but also how those cues govern and respond to the mechanical forces that physically shape tissues in an embryo. Using the chick embryo, our lab seeks to understand this relationship between the mechanics of morphogenesis and the underlying biological controls through a combination of biomechanics, molecular biology, and embryology approaches. This seminar will focus on our work to understand how the lengthy intestine is packaged within the body, a process that arises through a buckling instability driven by differential growth. Using this system, we will explore the molecular control of tissue mechanics driving gut morphogenesis, mechanical feedback, and evolutionary developmental biology of the gut. 

Speaker Bio: 

Nandan Nerurkar investigates how tissues and organs form in the developing embryo through an integration of genetic, molecular, and biophysical cues. Ultimately, he seeks to establish design principles of embryonic tissue formation, and to repurpose them for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications. Using live in vivo imaging, gene misexpression, and biomechanical approaches in the developing chick embryo, Nerurkar focuses on understanding how forces that shape the embryo are specified by developmental signals, how these forces in turn influence tissue growth and stem cell differentiation, and how birth defects arise when these processes go awry. He received a BS in Biological Engineering from University of Maryland College Park in 2003, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania 2010. Nerurkar completed his training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School before joining Columbia as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering in January 2018.

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