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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Project Title:

How tissue stiffness influences cell differentiation potential.

Project Summary: 

My project focuses on understanding the relationship between tissue stiffness in the Neuromesodermal progenitor (NMPs) region of developing chicken embryos, and the decision these progenitors make to become neural or mesodermal. I hypothesis that a differential stiffness gradient from anterior to posterior is upstream of signal mediated differentiation. Using atomic force microscopy and a newly developed tissue force microscope I am mapping out the stiffness environment these cells are found in. Furthermore, I am performing in vitro and in vivo perturbations to test NMPs response to changes in stiffness.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Dr Fengzhu Xiong

Staff Photo

Contact Details

Job Titles

PhD Student