PLEASE NOTE: The conference is now oversubscribed, but you are encouraged to add your name to the waitlist. We expect that we will be able to admit many waitlisted registrants.
How does an embryo make its first decisions, separating top from bottom, and left from right? Biological development relies on a series of symmetry-breaking events that patterns initially homogeneous tissues with a global body plan and sculpts symmetric cell collections into functional organs. Developmental biologists continue to uncover a ever-wider range of mechanisms to drive symmetry breaking, including nonlinear gene network dynamics, tissue mechanics, and embryonic fluid hydrodynamics. Increasingly, recent efforts by physicists have contributed theories built upon concepts of symmetry breaking that suggest a path toward unified principles of development. Progress in this direction has accelerated in recent years, aided by 21st century computational power and new methods in imaging and single-cell techniques. This KITP October Conference will bring together developmental biologists and theoretical physicists to assess the landscape of symmetry breaking processes in development and clarify the path towards a unified theory of morphogenesis. We expect that this conference will facilitate the field’s next steps in its path towards a unified understanding of morphogenesis.
Coordinators: Danelle Devenport, Eyal Karzbrun, Noah Mitchell, and Eric Siggia