Natalie A. Dye

Technische Universität, Dresden

Natalie Dye earned a Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Maryland before moving to California to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry at Stanford University. For her dissertation research, she was advised by Julie Theriot and Lucy Shapiro and worked on how a bacterial cell maintains its morphology. Afterwards, she continued on the theme of morphology but moved to the level of cells-to-tissues to study epithelial growth and morphogenesis using the Drosophila wing model, working as a postdoc in the lab of Suzanne Eaton at the MPI-CBG in Dresden. Today, she continues pursuing related questions of how tissue morphology emerges from collective cell behavior as a group leader at the TU-Dresden, supported by a fellowship from the Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentrum.


Friday April 21st

Getting into shape: collective cellular dynamics underlying 3D tissue deformations in the Drosophila wing

How cellular activity is coordinated over long spatial and temporal timescales to robustly build complex 3D tissue morphologies remains a fascinating open topic in biology. In my group, we study this question using the Drosophila wing and human organoid model systems, striving to uncover fundamental mechanisms for collective cell organization that are relevant for both development and cancer. To do so, we dynamically image and quantify cellular behavior, develop theoretical models in collaboration with physicists, and design genetic and mechanical experiments to test such models. In this talk, I will present an update of our research aimed at understanding Drosophila wing development, where our recent work has shed new light on the complex 3D remodeling process called eversion, which occurs at the transition from larval to pupal life stages. For this project, we developed novel methods for quantifying spatial patterns of cellular activity on a 3D surface and employed theoretical modeling methods inspired by shape-programmable materials. Our results from both the experimental data and modeling demonstrate how tissue-scale patterning of in-plane cellular behaviors can lead to robust 3D deformation of the tissue.