Zhou Lab | Cell Fate and Embryogenesis


Cell fate decision is a key topic in developmental biology and regenerative medicine. Embryo development and disease progression is a journey of gradual acquisition of specific functions with the continuous specialization of cell fate, accompanied by the gradual accumulation of cell heterogeneity within the embryo and adult. The lineage specification (e.g. endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition) and the pluripotency transition (e.g. naive-to-primed transition in implanting epiblasts/embryonic stem cells) are the critical epitome of cell fate decision during early embryo development.

In this regard, understanding the molecular mechanism of cell fate decision during embryonic development will shed light on not only how orderly and regular embryo body plan emerge from a single cell-fertilized egg to build a complex and highly functional organism, but also reveal how potential regulators triggers the diseases such as cancer, essentially a disordered transformation of cell fates.