Faculty

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Rusty Lansford, PhD
Associate Professor of Research Radiology
Pediatrics
CHLA MailStop135 Off Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 361 4707

Overview

Form and function of embryogenesis and pathogenesis
Many diseases can be considered as a failure of development. Investigating the borderland of embryology and pathology is a fundamental method for learning the rules of development. My group investigates the fundamental principles that guide how cells self-organize through collective interactions to bring about changes in embryonic form and function. By integrating advanced molecular, imaging, single cell transcriptomics, and statistical approaches, we study how molecules work together to control the timing and the spatial pattern of cell differentiation in developing tissues and stem cell systems.

Germ cells retain the capacity for both totipotency and immortality. They link one generation to the next and so are fundamental to the survival and evolution of living organisms. Germ cells migrate during the critical process of gastrulation, when the three primary germ layers-ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm—are form and the primary body axes are established. We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to studying primordial germ cell (PGC) development in the context of gastrulating embryos by combining the power of molecular genetics with advanced optical imaging within living embryos. Transgenic quail that ubiquitously express fluorescent proteins provide a novel amniote model system that permits investigations in living embryos with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. The quail epiblast, like the human epiblast, flattens out to form a disc, from which the primitive streak arises at one end. The dynamics of spatial relationship between lineages in the gastrulating human remain unexplored. Our studies address outstanding questions fundamental to PGC development and early embryogenesis including when, where, and how they are specified, how balance their need to move with their need to proliferate, and how they move in and out of the living embryo. PGCs have important therapeutic implications for the field of reproductive medicine; however, further development of tools and studies of the mechanisms to specify and maintain germ cell niches in diverse systems are essential for an improved understanding of germline development and reproductive health.

Awards

NASA Space Act Award : Two-photon Microscope Imaging Spectrometer for Multiple Fluorescent Probes (along with Greg Bearman , 2003

R&D 100 Award: META multispectral imager (along with Greg Bearman, Scott Fraser, and Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH), 2003

Publications

Basal filopodia and vascular mechanical stress organize fibronectin into pillars bridging the mesoderm-endoderm gap. Development. 2017 Jan 15; 144(2):281-291. View in: PubMed

Mapping a multiplexed zoo of mRNA expression. Development. 2016 Oct 1; 143(19):3632-3637. View in: PubMed

In vivo time-lapse imaging reveals extensive neural crest and endothelial cell interactions during neural crest migration and formation of the dorsal root and sympathetic ganglia. Dev Biol. 2016 May 01; 413(1):70-85. View in: PubMed

A transgenic quail model that enables dynamic imaging of amniote embryogenesis. Development. 2015 Aug 15; 142(16):2850-9. View in: PubMed

Dynamic imaging of the growth plate cartilage reveals multiple contributors to skeletal morphogenesis. Nat Commun. 2015; 6:6798. View in: PubMed

Combinatorial analysis of mRNA expression patterns in mouse embryos using hybridization chain reaction. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2015; 2015(3):pdb. prot083832. View in: PubMed

The left-right Pitx2 pathway drives organ-specific arterial and lymphatic development in the intestine. Dev Cell. 2014 Dec 22; 31(6):690-706. View in: PubMed

Generation and analysis of lentivirus expressing a 2A peptide-linked bicistronic fluorescent construct. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2014 Dec 01; 2014(12):1290-311. View in: PubMed

Prometastatic GPCR CD97 is a direct target of tumor suppressor microRNA-126. ACS Chem Biol. 2014 Feb 21; 9(2):334-8. View in: PubMed

Airway branching has conserved needs for local parasympathetic innervation but not neurotransmission. BMC Biol. 2014; 12(1):92. View in: PubMed

Identification of emergent motion compartments in the amniote embryo. Organogenesis. 2014; 10(4):350-64. View in: PubMed

Transgenesis and imaging in birds, and available transgenic reporter lines. Dev Growth Differ. 2013 May; 55(4):406-21. View in: PubMed

Transgenic quail as a model for research in the avian nervous system: a comparative study of the auditory brainstem. J Comp Neurol. 2013 Jan 1; 521(1):5-23. View in: PubMed

Embryogenesis of the first circulating endothelial cells. PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e60841. View in: PubMed

Time-lapse microscopy of macrophages during embryonic vascular development. Dev Dyn. 2012 Sep; 241(9):1423-31. View in: PubMed

Convective tissue movements play a major role in avian endocardial morphogenesis. Dev Biol. 2012 Mar 15; 363(2):348-61. View in: PubMed

Preparation and 4D fluorescent imaging of quail embryos. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Nov 01; 2011(11):1375-82. View in: PubMed

4D fluorescent imaging of embryonic quail development. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Nov 01; 2011(11):1291-4. View in: PubMed

High-speed multicolor microscopy of repeating dynamic processes. Genesis. 2011 Jul; 49(7):514-21. View in: PubMed

Dynamic lineage analysis of embryonic morphogenesis using transgenic quail and 4D multispectral imaging. Genesis. 2011 Jul; 49(7):619-43. View in: PubMed

Advanced optical imaging in living embryos. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Oct; 67(20):3489-97. View in: PubMed

Multispectral fingerprinting for improved in vivo cell dynamics analysis. BMC Dev Biol. 2010 Sep 24; 10:101. View in: PubMed

Dynamic analysis of vascular morphogenesis using transgenic quail embryos. PLoS One. 2010; 5(9):e12674. View in: PubMed

Watching the assembly of an organ a single cell at a time using confocal multi-position photoactivation and multi-time acquisition. Organogenesis. 2009 Oct; 5(4):238-47. View in: PubMed

Dynamic positional fate map of the primary heart-forming region. Dev Biol. 2009 Aug 15; 332(2):212-22. View in: PubMed

Screening for transgenic Japanese quail offspring. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009 Jan; 2009(1):pdb. prot5119. View in: PubMed

Generation of high-titer lentivirus for the production of transgenic quail. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009 Jan; 2009(1):pdb. prot5117. View in: PubMed

Japanese quail: an efficient animal model for the production of transgenic avians. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009 Jan; 2009(1):pdb. emo112. View in: PubMed

Injection of lentivirus into stage-X blastoderm for the production of transgenic quail. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009 Jan; 2009(1):pdb. prot5118. View in: PubMed

Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) as a laboratory animal model. Lab Anim (NY). 2008 Nov; 37(11):513-9. View in: PubMed

Generating transgenic quail using lentiviruses. Methods Cell Biol. 2008; 87:281-93. View in: PubMed

Ex Ovo Electroporation of DNA Vectors into Pre-gastrulation Avian Embryos. CSH Protoc. 2007 Dec 01; 2007:pdb. prot4894. View in: PubMed

Nociceptive sensory neurons derive from contralaterally migrating, fate-restricted neural crest cells. Nat Neurosci. 2007 Oct; 10(10):1287-93. View in: PubMed

Digital three-dimensional atlas of quail development using high-resolution MRI. ScientificWorldJournal. 2007; 7:592-604. View in: PubMed

Electroporation and EGFP labeling of gastrulating quail embryos. Dev Dyn. 2006 Oct; 235(10):2802-10. View in: PubMed

Formation and removal of alkylthiolate self-assembled monolayers on gold in aqueous solutions. Lab Chip. 2006 Feb; 6(2):289-95. View in: PubMed

Four-color, 4-D time-lapse confocal imaging of chick embryos. Biotechniques. 2005 Nov; 39(5):703-10. View in: PubMed

Circulating blood island-derived cells contribute to vasculogenesis in the embryo proper. Dev Biol. 2003 Oct 1; 262(1):162-72. View in: PubMed

Becoming a new neuron in the adult olfactory bulb. Nat Neurosci. 2003 May; 6(5):507-18. View in: PubMed

Multi-spectral imaging and linear unmixing add a whole new dimension to laser scanning fluorescence microscopy. Biotechniques. 2001 Dec; 31(6):1272, 1274-6, 1278. View in: PubMed

Gene transfer to the embryo: strategies for the delivery and expression of proteins at 48 to 56 hours postfertilization. J Pediatr Surg. 2001 Aug; 36(8):1304-7. View in: PubMed

Resolution of multiple green fluorescent protein color variants and dyes using two-photon microscopy and imaging spectroscopy. J Biomed Opt. 2001 Jul; 6(3):311-8. View in: PubMed

Imaging cells in the developing nervous system with retrovirus expressing modified green fluorescent protein. Exp Neurol. 1999 Apr; 156(2):394-406. View in: PubMed

Germline transcription and recombination of a murine VDJmudeltagamma1 transgene. Int Immunol. 1998 Aug; 10(8):1027-37. View in: PubMed

Ku70 is required for late B cell development and immunoglobulin heavy chain class switching. J Exp Med. 1998 Jun 15; 187(12):2081-9. View in: PubMed

Ig heavy chain class switching in Rag-deficient mice. Int Immunol. 1998 Mar; 10(3):325-32. View in: PubMed

Interactions of Eph-related receptors and ligands confer rostrocaudal pattern to trunk neural crest migration. Curr Biol. 1997 Aug 1; 7(8):571-80. View in: PubMed

A class switch control region at the 3' end of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus. Cell. 1994 Jun 03; 77(5):737-47. View in: PubMed

Influence of immunoglobulin heavy- and light-chain expression on B-cell differentiation. Genes Dev. 1994 May 01; 8(9):1043-57. View in: PubMed

S region transcription per se promotes basal IgE class switch recombination but additional factors regulate the efficiency of the process. EMBO J. 1994 Feb 01; 13(3):665-74. View in: PubMed

RAG-2-deficient blastocyst complementation: an assay of gene function in lymphocyte development. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 May 15; 90(10):4528-32. View in: PubMed

A promoter element that exerts positive and negative control of the interleukin 2-responsive J-chain gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jul 01; 89(13):5966-70. View in: PubMed

Isolation of coordinately regulated genes that are expressed in discrete stages of B-cell development. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Aug; 87(15):5759-63. View in: PubMed

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