Congratulations to Shankar Srinivas (based in the IDRM), who has received a Wellcome Discovery Award.
The fertilized egg undergoes dramatic changes in shape over the course of development in the womb, during which we are transformed from a clump of cells into something more recognisable as a developing foetus. This has to be coordinated with the generation of myriad distinct cell types, that have to be positioned correctly to produce a healthy embryo. This £2.9M award will fund research into understanding how the early embryo is shaped during early stages of development, when the basic plan of the body is laid down.
This research will specifically focus on the molecular genetic basis by which the biomechanical landscape of the embryo is modulated over the course of development, to enable it to acquire the correct shape. In addition to generating novel insights into the control of embryonic morphogenesis at the cellular and molecular level, it will also advance our understanding of the fundamental process of tissue remodelling, and how this might be subverted in pathological situations. The research, undertaken in the Institute for Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, will also contribute to increasing efforts at recapitulating tissue morphogenesis in vitro.
The Wellcome Discovery Awards provide funding for established researchers and teams from any discipline who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.