Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


ARC grant success for Embryology

Congratulations to Patrick Tam, Head of Embryology at CMRI, who has successfully secured two ARC grants!
Patrick and his team will now be able to focus on the following projects:

Project 1
This project aims to improve understanding of how diverse cell types are generated for building the body plan of the embryo. The first step of embryonic cell lineage differentiation takes place at early gastrulation when the multipotent embryonic cells acquire the attributes of specific tissue lineages. This project intends to elucidate how inductive signals and gene function are integrated to drive the lineage choice of the naive cells, by tracking the impact of the activity signalling pathways and gene regulation on cell differentiation. This may deliver insights into the temporal hierarchy and functional attributes of the molecular switches that control stem cell differentiation. Expected outcomes may have applications to tissue engineering. 

Project 2 
This project aims to gain an insight into the functional output of the regulatory network and the molecular determinants that are critical for the formation of the head. Genome-wide sequencing technologies are employed to identify the ensemble of genes that are regulated by Lhx1. By a combination of bioinformatics analysis and a system biology approach, the project aims to build a model of the network of the interacting genes for head development, and to characterise the function of selected components of this network to refine its architecture and define the dynamics of the network. The knowledge may improve our understanding of the molecular mechanism underpinning the naturally-occurring variation in the forms of major body parts, and how genes and signals work cooperatively to build an embryo.