CTR, MERLN, Fac. Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University
Our laboratory gathers scientists and engineers developing novel model systems of organs and organisms to investigate the design principles governing development. My general interests are in understanding how genetically encoded molecular programs yield the organisation into complex multicellular structures. I began my research career studying how the cells of blood vessels sense their chemical and physical environments to organize. My research has then shifted towards the utilization of stem cells to study how the early embryo forms. This led to the in vitro formation of the blastoid, a synthetic blastocyst with the potential to implant in utero.
Our research is grounded in fundamental stem cell biology using mouse and human embryonic and reprogrammed stem cells and in technologies using high throughput screenings in microsystems, single molecule imaging and single cell RNA sequencing in 3D model systems, organs and mouse embryos. Along with our epidemiologist, geneticist and clinician collaborators, we aim at using stem cell-based embryos to tackle the global health problems of infertility and understand the embryonic origin of chronic diseases.