I’m really interested in understanding precise growth and form of biological systems, specifically how cells and tissues sense and integrate morphogen gradients and physical forces, allowing for proper formation and development of a certain organ (and organism).
Now in Marcos Gonzalez-Gaitan lab, I am applying caudal fin regeneration as a model to uncover the basic mechanistic strategies driving regenerative fin growth. In particular my work is focused in understanding quantitatively how morphogens control proliferation during regeneration, using zebrafish adult and larval caudal fins as model systems. Understanding the biophysical quantitative properties involved in morphogen concentration gradients will thus bring unprecedented insight into how proliferation is modulated to precisely rebuild injured organs.
In parallel I have become interested in understanding the physics and cell biology of animal reflectors. These structures are capable of reflecting light creating structural colors through the use of photonic crystals. In zebrafish, they exist as intracellular components of their pigment cells, the iridophores. This confers the ‘shininess’ that zebrafish have in their stripes and allows for their proper camouflage in the wild.