Quantitative Comparison of Digitally Reconstructed Biological Tissues in Developing Sea Urchin Embryos
What makes individuals different? How and when do differences appear during early embryogenesis? Can we identify the sources of these differences, from random processes to precise mechanisms? These classical questions can be re-explored based on the quantitative reconstruction of multi scale dynamics from in vivo and in toto 4D images of developing model organisms (e.g. sea urchin, zebrafish…). The analysis of the high throughput data produced by time-lapse microscopy imaging and image processing through algorithmic workflows such as done by the BioEmergences platform (http://www.bioemergences.eu), requires the development of new methodologies and tools. The aim of my research project in Stanford is to develop or adapt quantitative descriptors to account for differences between tissues and their growth patterns. This project share similar issues with the work of Monica Nicolau at Stanford. She developed mathematical tools to address specific biological questions in the field of cancer biology. Her work, as well as her experience in an interdisciplinary approach of biological questions, makes her a perfect advisor for this project. We expect that this work will contribute to advances in the field of quantitative biology and help grounding the concepts of personalized medicine through the characterization of individual specificities.