Welcome to MDBL!

Combining biophysical and molecular approaches to study embryonic development.

About Us

Established by Prof. Nandan Nerurkar in January 2018, the Morphogenesis and Developmental Biomechanics Lab (MDBL) at Columbia University studies how tissues and organs form in the developing embryo through an integration of genetic, molecular, and biophysical cues. Using live in vivo imaging, gene misexpression, and biomechanical approaches, we focus on understanding how forces that shape the embryo are specified by developmental signals, how these forces in turn feedback on tissue growth and stem cell differentiation, and how birth defects arise when these processes go awry. The long term vision is to establish mechano-molecular rules or design principles of embryogenesis, enabling a true engineering approach to regenerative medicine, wherein stiffness, stress, and strain can be biologically programmed alongside cell type specification to instruct the assembly of functional three dimensional tissues and organs.