Developmental biology is the study of how an organism grows from a fertilized egg into the adult form. In humans, development of the lungs begins around the third week of gestation and their maturation continues into adolescence.
Researchers in the division utilize animal models and samples isolated from human donors to study questions such as:
- How is the complex 3-dimensional structure of the lung achieved during fetal development?
- How are the many cell types of the lung generated from embryonic progenitor cell populations?
- How do genetic and environmental pressures influence these processes and contribute to lung disease?
- Do complications early in life predispose individuals to lung disease later in life?
- Can knowledge about lung development be exploited for the purposes of regenerative medicine?