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Séjour court


Biology - United Kingdom

Research topics


Understanding how embryos are shaped during animal development using quantitative approaches in vivo.

Bénédicte Sanson investigates the mechanisms by which tissues in developing embryos acquire their shape. Her research team focuses on the morphogenesis of epithelia, the most common tissue type in our bodies. During embryonic development, epithelial sheets are being shaped in multiple ways, such as via elongation or folding. When morphogenesis goes wrong, this can result in birth defects or diseases such as cancer. Genetic programmes and physical forces interact to shape tissues, so her team uses multidisciplinary approaches to understand morphogenesis, such asgenetics, imaging of live embryos, computational image analysis and mathematical modelling. Current areas of research include 1) how cells change positions relative to each other to elongate tissues; 2) how cell divisions are oriented in a developing tissue in response to physical forces; and 3) how cells are physically segregated from each other at boundaries between different regions in a tissue.

Activities / Resume


Bénédicte Sanson trained in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics in Lyon, Paris and Cambridge (UK). Her career as a group leader started in 1998 at the University of Cambridge, where she is now a Professor in Developmental Morphogenesis.