Ray Keller's Lab

University of Virginia - Dept. of Biology

(website currently under revision; 4/27/10; please let us know if there's something in particular you're looking for)


14 hours of development, from gastrulation thru neural tube closure (viewed from the vegetal pole).





Techniques & Solutions

Old Stuff

Fate Maps, Etc.







241 Gilmer Hall

University of Virginia

Dept. of Biology

Charlottesville, VA 22904

(434) 243-2596

For  web page issues, contact

David Shook

  Research Areas:


Neural Morphogenesis

We study patterning and biomechanics of convergent extension in the neural plate, and the mechanisms of neural tube closure. What cell behaviors shape the neural plate and how are they regulated by midline-originating signals?


We are measuring the forces generated by tissue movements, and the biomechanical properties of those tissues to understand the mechanical basis of morphogenesis.

Mesodermal Morphogenesis

We are interested in the biomechanical role of such molecules as integrin, fibrillin, and cadherins during convergence and extension of the mesoderm. How do molecular components such as these and others such as members of the planar cell polarity pathway drive or guide convergence and extension and axis elongation?

Comparative Morphogenesis

We are interested in understanding the variation among species in the mechanisms and biomechanics of gastrulation. This include the mechanisms by which surface mesoderm is removed during gastrulation and neurulation, and the degree to which different species use convergent extension vs. convergent thickening to drive blastopore closure.