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Zhiyuan Hu

DPhil; BSc

Postdoctoral Researcher in Developmental Genomics

One long-standing question within the field of developmental biology is to understand how a particular cell develops into a final cell type, known as cell fate decisions. To study this question, I am using an embryonic cell population, called the neural crest, as my model system. The neural crest exists in all vertebrates and exhibits extraordinary multipotency. It contributes to critical structures, e.g., the peripheral nervous system and the craniofacial skeleton. Dysfunctional development of the neural crest leads to birth defects, such as a cleft lip and palate. I am leveraging the state-of-the-art techniques, including single-cell sequencing, CRISPR and machine learning, to characterise developmental trajectories and lineages of neural crest cells. My work aims to shed light on general mechanisms involved in cell fate commitment and maintenance during normal development. It will also provide insights into inherited developmental abnormalities and malignancy. 

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