Associate Professor of Systems Biology
Megason Lab website
Faculty Assistant: Andrea Chen
Our approach to doing systems biology in embryos is heavily based on imaging because of its unique ability to capture quantitative data at single cell resolution in living, functioning embryos. We use zebrafish because of their unique suitability for imaging, genetics, and genomics. We are developing a technology called “in toto imaging” that seeks to track all the cells in a developing tissue and extract quantitative, cell-based data through the use of fluorescent reporters. In toto imaging will allow us to determine complete lineages for organs and to extract cell-based frameworks for use in modeling. We are also developing a technology called FlipTraps. FlipTraps are a novel kind of gene trap with 2 important features: they generate endogenously expressed functional fluorescent fusion proteins, and they generate Cre conditional alleles. We are currently scaling up these efforts as part of the Digital Fish Project which aims to scan in protein expression and mutant phenotype systematically onto a cell-based armature and use these data to construct models that “compute” developmental processes.
About Dr. Megason: Sean Megason received a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology at Harvard University in 2001. He conducted post-doctoral research at the California Institute of Technology.