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Research Interests

Gene regulatory networks, axis specification and morphogenesis of the sea urchin embryo

Research Area

Our goal is to answer fundamental questions such as how an embryo with multiple differentiated cell types can develop from the egg and how is the linear information encoded in the DNA used to shape the embryo during gastrulation and morphogenesis. We try to understand how the main axes of polarity (dorsal-ventral and left-right) are specified and what are the respective roles of the maternal information stored in the egg and of intercellular communication in these processes. We are also interested in the mechanisms regulating morphogenesis of the larval skeleton, a process that requires epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and oriented migration of skeletogenic precursors cells located at the vegetal pole of the embryo. We try to understand how beta catenin and MAPK signaling act together with transcription factors to control delamination of these cells and how signals emitted by the ectoderm regulate migration of these mesenchymal cells and control patterning of the skeleton.

Current Members

Lepage, Thierry (Principal Investigator/Director)


Institution: Institut de Biologie Valrose (iBV) - Par

Web Page:

General/Lab Fax: +33 489150830