UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


BDRC Sem Series - Dr. Yanlan Mao - 23 Sept 19

Dr. Yanlan Mao



Coping with mechanical stress: tissue dynamics in development and repair


Monday 23 September 2019, 1pm

June Lloyd Room, GOS ICH


Key words

Mechanics, actomyosin, polarity, wound healing, tissue fluidity,



Actomyosin contractility is a key regulator of tissue dynamics. During development, tissue dynamics, such as cell intercalations and oriented cell divisions, are critical for shaping tissues and organs. However, less is known about how tissues regulate their dynamics during tissue homeostasis and repair, to maintain their shape after development.

In this talk, we will discuss how tissues respond to mechanical perturbations, such as stretching or wounding, by altering their actomyosin contractile structures, to change tissue dynamics, and thus preserve tissue shape and patterning. We combine genetics, biophysics and computational modelling to study these processes.



Yanlan Mao is a Group Leader at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. After receiving her BA in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, she completed her PhD with Matthew Freeman at the MRC LMB in Cambridge on Drosophila cell signaling and epithelial patterning. During her postdoc with Nic Tapon at the CRUK London Research Institute (now Francis Crick Institute), she became interested in tissue mechanics and computational modeling approaches. She now holds a MRC Career Development Award Fellowship, a Lister Institute Prize and an L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship to pursue her interests in the mechanical regulation of tissue growth and regeneration. She was recently selected to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.