Skip to main content


EMBRIO brings together researchers and engineers across diverse fields and institutions, leveraging AI and other cutting-edge technology to see how cells grow, repair, and replicate themselves with the help of biochemical and mechanical inputs and reactions.

EMBRIO includes four thrust areas of research.

Core Thrust: Simulation, Data Integration, and Technology Support Structure

  • Develop a shared-resource platform hosting simulation tools for various scales (from intracellular signaling to multi-cellular organization) and multi-modal biological cues.
  • Develop machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to 1) bridge across scales from single cell behavior to multicellular coupled cell responses, 2) bridge experimental data and simulations across biological contexts.
  • Develop shared measurement systems and protocols including high resolution imaging and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Thrust 1: Intracellular cellular signaling and integration

  • Determine how Ca2+signal decoding controls subcellular actin organization by quantifying neuronal dendritic spine regulation.
  • Determine how whole cell Ca2+ signaling facilitates whole cell actomyosin-mediated reorganization by studying how eggs prevent polyspermic fertilization.

Thrust 2: Cellular to multicellular communication and coordination

  • Determine how cells communicate and integrate mechanical and chemical signals by studying how plant cells sense microbial pathogens and organize a defense response.
  • Decode the principles of mechanosensation and chemical signal integration during wound healing in developing animal organs.

Thrust 3: Multicellular to organism-wide coordination and emergence

  • Determine signal integration for robust and coordinated actin- and myosin-mediated morphogenesis using the zebrafish embryo model system.
  • Determine how tissue-wide organization of connected epithelial sheets emerges from large-scale multicellular coordination through the study of wound sealing in zebrafish.

Thrust 4: Pedagogical Research, Training, Diversity, and Outreach

  • Deduce best practice for integrative biology learning using design-based research.
  • Develop a Community of Practice for inclusive training to connect research and education.
  • Develop new integrative biology curricular redesign via a computational apprenticeship
  • Engage scientists and engineers from historically underrepresented minority groups and foster an environment where all increase their appreciation of the impact of diversity in STEM.