12 May 2006
We are interested in developing models of cell behavior to help understand what implications local cell decisions have at the multi-cellular level. Our current work is focused on the cell division process in the developing fruit fly wing imaginal disc. Based on time-lapse movies, we have developed a logical model of the local cell division process. This model led to an unexpected result - that the stochastic process of division drives the tissue, as a whole, to adopt a fixed distribution of cell shapes (polygons). This mathematically-predicted distribution is observed in organisms as diverse as fruit flies, hydra and frogs. This work suggests a simple emergent mechanism for regulating cell shape and topology during rapid proliferation, and has implications for both development and disease.
current theory lunch schedule