Anne Ephrussi

Anne Ephrussi
Head of Developmental Biology Unit

The development of multicellular organisms from single cells to adult animals requires the dynamic interplay of many cellular processes, coordinated in space and time. Groups in this Unit seek to elucidate general principles and mechanisms underlying the emergence of a dynamic organization in developing organisms. Members of the unit combine the power of genetic model organisms with quantitative imaging and –omics technologies, synthetic biology, reduced (in vitro) systems and theoretical modelling, to create a cross-cutting approach to modern developmental biology.

Our Unit aims:

  • To establish novel approaches to investigate multicellular development in its dynamic complexity
  • To reveal principles and mechanisms underlying morphogenesis, pattern formation and cellular differentiation
  • To train and mentor the next generation of developmental biologists

Towards these aims, our unit asks some key questions:

  • How do systems-level properties emerge from the dynamic interplay of inter- and intracellular processes?
  • How is embryonic symmetry broken and cells with distinct fates specified?
  • What is the origin and evolution of our central nervous system?
  • How do cells build tissues during organismal development?
  • What determines patterns of gene expression in space and time?
  • How does the interplay between genetic and environmental factors shape animal development and evolution?

Overview on Research in the Developmental Biology Unit

Arendt Group Evolution of the nervous system in bilateria
Aulehla Group Timing of mammalian embryogenesis
Crocker Group Gene regulation during evolution and development
De Renzis Group Cell dynamics and signalling during morphogenesis
Ephrussi Group RNA localisation and localised translation in development
Hiiragi Group Symmetry breaking and self-organisation
Ikmi Group Plasticity of animal body design

Affiliated groups

Prevedel Group
(Cell Biology & Biophysics Unit)
Advanced optical techniques for deep tissue microscopy

Anne Ephrussi
Head of the Developmental Biology Unit