Plenary Lecture

Regulation of Morphogenesis and Gene Expression by Mechanical Forces

Professor Lev V. Beloussov
Department of Embryology
Lomonosow Moscow State University
E-mail: morphogenesis@yandex.ru

Abstract: In recent decades an extensive amount of data was accumulated, pointing to important role of endogenous mechanical forces in regulating several aspects of cell activities: movements, acquiring of polarity, vesicular transport and gene expression. We review these data with a special emphasis to the regulative role of self-produced mechanical stresses in morphogenesis and cell differentiation. We show that the interaction of the passive (coming outside a given embryo part) and the active (generated inside this very part) mechanical stresses is an important link in self-organizing circuits which are driving forth embryonic development. The applications of this concept to medicine and biotechnology are discussed.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Born 1935 July 18th in Sankt-Petersburg (former Soviet Union). In 1952-1957 I was a graduate student and in 1957-1960 a postgraduate student, Lomonosow Moscow State University (MSU), Faculty of Biology. In 1961 I got a Candidate Degree (equivalent of the European and USA Doctors degree) for the dissertation entitled “Cellular Processes in Development of Hydroid Polyps”. Since 1984 I am Professor of Embryology, MSU. In 2002 got a title of Honorary Professor, MSU (which does not mean a retirement from the former position). My main field of interest is embryonic morphogenesis, including its biophysical, cellular and model aspects. Author of more than 200 papers, including 4 monographs (among them “The Dynamic Architecture of a Developing Organism”, Kluwer Acad Publ., 1998). Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. American Association of Anatomists, Editorial Boards of the Russian Journal of Developmental Biology and Rivista di Biologia (Theoretical Biology Forum). Awarded by Carlo Bondy Prize (University of Perugia, Italy) and Alexander Kowalevsky Prize (Russian Academy of Sciences).