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Junker Lab

Quantitative Developmental Biology


Embryonic development is a study in contrasts between variation and stability.

On the one hand, generation of complex spatial patterns proceeds with striking recision: the different tissues and organs are generally formed at the correct position, at the right time, and with a defined size. On the other hand, regulation should also not be too rigid, since embryos need to flexibly adjust to environmental perturbations and correct errors caused by noisy gene expression.

We study the interplay between variation and stability by using the zebrafish embryo as a model system. We aim to understand the stochastic mechanisms that underlie phenotypic diversity in isogenic populations, and to identify the error repair mechanisms that ensure robust pattern formation in the presence of perturbations. Systematic investigation of variability and robustness during vertebrate organ formation requires development of novel approaches for spatially-resolved gene expression profiling and linage analysis, ideally on the single cell level.

We have recently developed a method for spatially-resolved transcriptomics called 'tomo-seq', and we are currently working to expand this strategy to the level of lineage analysis. We use these approaches in combination with light microscopy and tools from zebrafish developmental biology. Our work combines biophysics, systems biology and developmental biology. 

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Dr. Jan Philipp Junker
Dr. Jan Philipp Junker
Group Leader
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz-Association
Berlin-Mitte (BIMSB)
Hannoversche Str. 28
10115 Berlin, Germany
Building 101, Room 2.81
(030) 9406 1860
Regina Philipp
(030) 9406 1770
MDC Berlin-Mitte (BIMSB): Building 101, Room 1.02