Roelink Lab


We study the mechanisms of embryonic induction, the phenomenon in which a group of cells changes the developmental fate of neighboring cells via the release of inducers and other molecules. The molecular nature of these inducers is known and they belong to a relatively small number of families of signaling proteins. Invariably proteins molecules are involved both in the maintenance or differentiation of adult stem cells as well as in cancer. We are particularly interested in  Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and members of the BMP and Wnt families.

By combining genomic engineering using TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 with stem cell differentiation into neural tissue, we study the autonomous and non-autonomous consequences of mutating proximal elements in the Sonic Hedgehog response pathway.