Clara Guijarro

Quantitative characterization of a cardiac progenitor cell epithelium

Team: Robert G. Kelly (IBDM) - Paul Villoutreix (MMG)

Her background

November 2020 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2016 - 2018 | MSc Integrative Biology & Physiology - Sorbonne University (France)

2014 - 2015 | MSc Molecular Biology and Genetics (exchange program) - University of Strasbourg (France)

2011 - 2016 | BSc in Biology, Biotechnology major - Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)


About her PhD project

Understanding how cellular and tissue-­‐wide forces contribute to growth and form during organogenesis is a major challenge in developmental biology. The vertebrate heart tube extends as a consequence of the progressive addition of second heart field (SHF) progenitor cells within an epithelial sheet to the arterial and venous poles of the heart. Perturbation of this process results in congenital heart defects (CHD), affecting 1% of live births. T-­‐box transcription factor genes implicated in CHD regulate the emergence of a boundary segregating SHF cells to alternate cardiac poles. In addition, epithelial features of the SHF, including cell elongation, polarity, clonal anisotropy and epithelial  tension,  have  been  identified  as  regulatory  targets  during heart tube elongation (Cortes et al., Circ Res 2018). However, the relationship between epithelial properties and the patterning of progenitor cell subpopulations in the SHF remains unknown. Multidisciplinary quantitative approaches will be undertaken to address this question in the mouse embryo.