Jesse Veenvliet is a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden, Germany. Jesse has a background in developmental biology, stem cell biology, medicine, and molecular neuroscience. He was one of the pioneers in the modelling of embryo development in a petri-dish (Veenvliet et al., Science 2020). His laboratory leverages the accessibility and modularity of such stem-cell-derived embryonic organoids (or “stembryos”) to investigate the design principles and feedback systems that govern robustness during post-implantation mammalian embryogenesis. To this end, his team employs a combination of developmental engineering, comparative omics (e.g. single cell RNA-sequencing), (live) imaging, data science, and genetics.
Contributions to the project
Compared to the embryo, the stembryo displays much larger variation in terms of cellular composition, patterning, and shape. Such, mostly unexplained, variation, currently limits the utility of stembryo technology, in particular in applied research, such as disease modelling or teratogenicity screens. We will develop integrative frameworks to systematically map molecular and morphological variability in mammalian gastruloids. We will then leverage these insights to develop data-driven intervention strategies to increase reproducibility, with an ultimate aim to employ such interventions on a “personalized” (i.e. organoid-by-organoid basis) in a closed-loop system.