CCB Brown Bag Seminar

Date & Time

Speaker:  Hayden Nunley, Flatiron Research Fellow, Developmental Dynamics

Title: Quantifying and modeling the growth of lineage trees

To transform a fertilized egg into a complex multicellular organism, mitotic events are necessary. To represent such a developmental trajectory, one constructs a lineage tree, rooted at the original cell. In general, the cells in this tree can vary considerably in their interdivision times, and some subset of cells can cease to divide entirely. Only in a limited number of cases do we understand quantitatively which factors determine the structure of these lineage trees. To address this question, I combine two approaches: (1) computer vision and (2) mathematical modeling. The first approach enables the construction of lineage trees from experimental movies, while the latter makes predictions about observed variation in the lineage trees both in wild-type and mutant conditions. Based on approach (1), I will first discuss our efforts to quantify lineage tree statistics in preimplantation mouse embryos. Then, I will explain how our mathematical model of cell networks has provided insights into the interrelatedness of naturally occurring networks by changes in interpretable parameters. To bridge the gap between these two approaches, I will close by discussing my current and future work, in the context of Drosophila pole cell proliferation.

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