Studies on mammalian embryos by Research Fellow published in Developmental Cell

Work by Dr Gianluca Amadei, a Research Fellow at Clare Hall, has been published in the 8th February edition of Developmental Cell.

Dr Amadei completed his PhD at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr Freda Miller, where he studied the role of RNA-binding proteins in the context of mammalian embryonic brain development. Now he is studying novel ways to model mouse post-implantation development using stem cells in the Zernicka-Goetz Group in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience here at the University.

Of the Group’s latest research, Dr Amadei shares:
“The main goal of our group is understanding how mammalian embryos – either mouse or human – develop and give rise to the different cell lineages that eventually form the mammalian body. One of the general questions we ask is whether embryonic stem cells that are isolated from embryos remember what the mammalian body is supposed to look like and, given the right conditions, whether they can re-build it. To test this, I mix together different kinds of stem cells, which I use as building blocks, and ask whether at the end of their assembly I obtain structures that look and function similarly to an embryo. The answer  to this question is yes, and in this paper I show the latest version of our stem cell-based system. The structures we obtain not only look and are organised in the same way as a natural, post-implantation mouse embryo but they are also able to undergo complex developmental processes such as gastrulation, which is the process whereby the three germ layers of the body are made, and it is a critical step during the embryonic development of any mammal. Our hope is that this work will provide tools to decrease our reliance on animal models and expedite the pace of research.”

Read the full paper at via and explore it on Developmental Cell’s website at

Learn more about the Zernicka-Goetz Group via their website at

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