Tom Schultheiss, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
MD PhD, 1991 - University of Pennsylvania, USA
Organogenesis and developmental biology
The fields of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering, which aim to generate tissues in the laboratory in order to replace and repair damaged organs, hold great promise for treating many congenital and chronic diseases. In order to generate tissues and organs in the lab, it essential to understand how these tissues are normally built in the developing embryo. In my laboratory we study how organs are built in the embryo, from the first steps when embryonic cells adopt tissue-specific identities, through the later stages when the functional organ is assembled from its various cellular components. Our current work focuses on the formation of the kidney, gonads, and hematopoietic system, and we use the avian embryo (chicken and quail) as our main experimental system. We also have a strong interest in understanding basic embryological processes, such as embryonic patterning, cell differentiation, cell migration, and morphogenesis.
Attia L, Schneider J, Yelin R, and Schultheiss TM. 2015. Collective cell migration of the nephric duct requires Fgf Signaling. Dev. Dyn. 244, 157-67.
Schneider J, Arraf AA, Yelin R, and Schultheiss TM. 2015. Wnt signaling orients the proximal-distal axis of kidney nephrons. Development 142, 2686-2695.
Soueid-Baumgarten S, Yelin R, Kruzel DE, and Schultheiss TM. 2014. Parallel waves of inductive signaling and mesenchyme maturation regulate differentiation of the chick mesonephros. Dev. Biol. 385, 122-135.
Fleming B, Yelin R, James RG, and Schultheiss TM. 2013. A role for Nodal-like signaling in the initial specification of the intermediate mesoderm. Development 140, 1819-1829.
Grinstein M, Yelin R, Herzlinger DA, and Schultheiss TM. 2013. Generation of the podocyte and tubular components of kidney nephrons: timing of specification and a role for Wnt signaling. Development 140, 4565-4573.
Model of the role of Wnt signaling in patterning kidney nephrons.
The top, middle, and bottom rows illustrate three stages in nephron formation: pretubular aggregate (top), S-shaped body (middle), and mature nephron (bottom). The left side indicates the normal situation, where the source of Wnt (orange dots) is the nephric duct and the forming nephron is exposed to a gradient of Wnt activity. Regions exposed to high Wnt levels form tubular components, whereas areas exposed to low Wnt levels form glomerular elements. The right side illustrates the effects of ectopic expression of Wnt3a in the coelomic epithelium. In this case, the forming nephron is exposed to Wnt signals from both the duct (orange dots) and the coelomic epithelium (green dots). Glomeruli develop in the area furthest from the combined sources of Wnt signal, dorsal to their normal location. Occasionally, tubules can be seen fusing to the coelomic epithelium instead of the nephric duct (light pink in right bottom panel).
d, nephric duct; g, glomerulus; t, tubule.