Generating order from chaos: understanding how heterogeneity, stochastic differentiation and cell sorting can result in robust developmental patterning


  • Prof Christopher Thompson

    University of Manchester

Project summary

Professor Thompson will be studying a fundamental question in development: cell fate choice and pattern formation. As a model, he will use the social amoeba Dictyostelium. When starved, many thousands of individual amoebae aggregate to form patterned multicellular structures with a small number of different cell types. The patterning mechanism is evolutionarily conserved, but poorly understood as it is based on stochastic differentiation followed by sorting out. Using this model, he will identify and analyse genes that underlie this patterning process and the regulation of altruistic cell death.