Systems Biology of Cellular Decisions

Addressing the Problem

How does a single cell—the fertilized egg—give rise to a complex, multicellular organism? Resolving this question will lead to mechanistic understanding of cell-fate decisions, and thus, reveal fundamental principles of the making of normal and abnormal cells, including cancer.

Research Goals

The ideas, technologies, models, and software developed in this project will not only be applicable to understanding early embryonic development and disorders, but also will become general and essential tools for future studies of causal relationships leading to development of body structures, neural systems, internal organs, and tumorigenesis. Because this requires fundamental breakthroughs in mathematical, engineering, and experimental sciences synergistically, the University of Illinois is uniquely positioned to push the frontier of biology and engineering.