My current research is focused on unravelling the patterning of the neural tube working side by side with Karen Page (Mathematics department at UCL) and James Briscoe (Crick Institute) groups. During the embryo development of vertebrates, the neural tube is the precursor tissue of the central nervous system of the animal. The identical cells forming the tube (the neuronal precursors) will take different neuronal fates depending on the location of the tube. This spatial patterning occurs through the interpretation of different morphogen gradients that are ultimately interpreted by the genetic regulatory networks of the neuronal precursors.
In order to understand the patterning process we combine experimental techniques with the mathematical models that allow to understand the emergent non-linear properties of the patterning process. Such models need to take into account the different scales of the patterning process, from the genetic interactions between genes to the spatial interaction between the morphogen gradients and the cells composing the active tissue. Additionally, to comprehend the precision and robustness of the pattern, such models have to take into account the different relevant sources of noise, which include the intrinsic noise of the molecular genetic interactions, the noise in the morphogen gradient or the extrinsic cell-cell variability.
My interests also extend to the tools required in the description of genetic regulatory networks. This comprises the application stochastic calculus to dynamical systems theory, which motivated by biological questions can set new targets for the development of the different available analytical and numerical techniques.