SCS Faculty Candidate Talk


Inner ear size and shape is regulated by hydraulic feedback

How do animals develop similar organ sizes and shapes despite large fluctuations in growth conditions? I will discuss recent work from our group combining quantitative imaging, mathematical theory, and perturbations to elucidate vertebrate inner ear formation (1) and growth (2). First, using a bioimage informatics platform called GoFigure2, we reconstructed morphogenetic patterns of cellular movements, cell number and shape changes, and tissue topology changes underlying organ formation. Second, we find that transepithelial transport creates hydrostatic pressure in the lumen, driving otic vesicle growth. Pressure negatively regulates fluid transport creating a regulatory loop that controls otic vesicle growth rate and allows organ size recovery from perturbations. Developmental patterning of tissue material properties modulates the relationship between pressure-induced stress and tissue strain-rate to shape the ear. Our work illuminates how microscopic cells can regulate macroscopic traits, such as organ shape and size, by integrating molecular signals with signals arising from the interaction between geometry, forces, and soft-tissue mechanics. Because early ear development shares many features with other developmental (eye, heart, kidney) and disease processes (tissue tumor formation), our results and mathematical model will inform understanding of the morphogenesis of other organs.

Kishore Rao Mosaliganti's research focuses on how biological form and function arises from molecular circuits controlling individual cell behavior. My broad academic training spans areas of CS, applied mathematics, developmental biology, and engineering. Previously, I obtained a B.S./M.S. Integrated Degree in Mechanical Engineering (2003) from The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (2008) from The Ohio State University (OSU). Subsequently, I joined as a Research Fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. While in the Megason Lab, I received a NIH Career Development Award for Quantitative Scientists (K25) that facilitated my training in the usage of advanced microscopes, molecular recombinant technology, and zebrafish embryology. My research work has led to two major breakthroughs: I solved a critical technological hurdle (GoFigure2) and discovered a new mechanism of organ size control.

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