During pre-implantation development, the
mammalian embryo forms the blastocyst. The architecture of the blastocyst is
essential to the specification of the first mammalian lineages and to the
implantation of the embryo. Consisting of an epithelium enveloping a
fluid-filled lumen and the inner cell mass, the blastocyst is sculpted by a
succession of morphogenetic events. These deformations result from the changes
in the forces and mechanical properties of the tissue composing the embryo.
Combining microscopy, image analysis, biophysical tools and genetics, we study
the mechanical and cellular changes leading to the formation of the blastocyst. This PhD project will focus on the
contribution of the plasma membrane to shaping the first mammalian epithelium.