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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

 

Biography

2007 BS Tsinghua Univ. / 2013 PhD Harvard Univ. / 2015 HHWF-HHMI Postdoc Fellow / 2018 NIH K99 / 2019 Wellcome/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow / 2022 ERC STG

Research

I am interested in the ways in which developing tissues produce and respond to mechanical forces in order to achieve the correct shape and pattern. We use early avian embryos as a model system. The large size and accessibility of these embryos allow us to image cell and tissue dynamics, perform molecular genetic perturbations, and deploy novel mechanical tools such as soft gels and cantilevers to measure and apply forces. Some of our ongoing projects are: the role of paraxial mesoderm forces on body axis straightness (bilateral symmetry) and neural folding, lumen pressure and tissue mechanics in the early central nervous system, the cellular responses to tissue forces in the axial progenitors, and the regulation of global tension on the early chicken embryo.

Co-workers:
Daniele Kunz
Lauren Moon
Yisha Lan
Ana Hernandez Rodriguez
Changqing Lu
Anfu Wang
Susannah McLaren
Lakshmi Balasubramaniam

 

Publications

Key publications: 

Kunz D, Wang A, Chan CU, Pritchard RH, Wang W, Gallo F, Bradshaw CR, Terenzani E, Muller KH, Huang YYS, Xiong F. Downregulation of Extraembryonic Tension Controls Body Axis Formation in Avian Embryos. BioRxiv (https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.24.432525)

Moon LD & Xiong F (2021) Mechanics of neural tube morphogenesis. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2021.09.009.

Oginuma, M., Harima, Y., Tarazona, O.A., Diaz-Cuadros, M., Michaut, A., Ishitani, T., Xiong, F. and Pourquié, O (2020). Intracellular pH controls WNT downstream of glycolysis in amniote embryos. Nature 584(7819), 98-101.

Xiong, F., Ma, W., Bénazéraf, B., Mahadevan, L. and Pourquié, O (2020). Mechanical coupling coordinates the co-elongation of axial and paraxial tissues in avian embryos. Developmental Cell 55(3), 354-366.

Mongera, A., Michaut, A., Guillot, C., Xiong, F. and Pourquié, O (2019). Mechanics of Anteroposterior Axis Formation in Vertebrates. Annual review of cell and developmental biology 35, pp.259-283.

Oginuma M, Moncuquet P, Xiong F, Karoly E, Chal J, Guevorkian K, Pourquie O (2017). A Gradient of Glycolytic Activity Coordinates FGF and Wnt Signaling during Elongation of the Body Axis in Amniote Embryos, Developmental Cell 40(4):342-353.

Xiong F, Ma W, Hiscock TW, Mosaliganti KR, Tentner AR, Brakke KA, Rannou N, Gelas A, Souhait L, Swinburne IA, Obholzer ND, Megason SG (2014) Interplay of Cell Shape and Division Orientation Promotes Robust Morphogenesis of Developing Epithelia, Cell 159(2):415-427.

Xiong F, Tentner AR, Huang P, Gelas A, Mosaliganti KR, Souhait L, Rannou N, Swinburne IA, Obholzer ND, Cowgill PD, Schier AF, Megason SG (2013). Specified Neural Progenitors Sort to Form Sharp Domains After Noisy Shh Signaling, Cell 153(3):550-561.

Full list: https://scholar.harvard.edu/fengzhu_xiong/publications

Teaching and Supervisions

Teaching: 

Contributor to P6/ZL6 Part 2 Organogenesis

Outside of Cambridge:

Developmental Biology (HMS, SJTU, ZJU)

Biophysics (introduction and advanced, DKU)

Group Leader at Wellcome Trust / CRUK Gurdon Institute
Affiliated with PDN
Picture of Dr Fengzhu  Xiong

Contact Details

Rm. 330 Gurdon Institute, Tennis Court Road
Cambridge
CB2 1QN
+44 (0) 1223 3767201
Email address: