Electrochemical signaling in development and disease
Head of the Group
Dr. Daniela Panakova
31.1: Max Delbrück House (Hochbau)
Welcome to our lab page!
Our main interest lies in studying the interplay between development and physiology and in understanding how function and form interact in embryogenesis as well as in disease states.
The central idea of our research is to understand how physical cues interact with major signaling pathways during development and in disease.
We use zebrafish as a model system.
Zebrafish is particularly suited to study embryonic development due to its short generation time, small size, genetic and chemical tractability, transparency of the embryos and external fertilization that allows for the in vivo observation and manipulation of early developmental events.
We focus on cardiovascular development.
Heart is the first functional organ in developing vertebrate embryo. The zebrafish heart begins to synchronously contract already at 24 hours post fertilization (hpf) and retains its epithelial characteristics up to at least 90 hpf. The cardiomyocytes are coupled together to form electrochemical syncytium that leads to spontaneous and synchronized electrical activity. These are the assets that provide unique settings for studying the interaction between developmental pathways and electrochemical cues.
We use integrative approaches.
From classical genetic tools to high speed optical mapping techniques, we use a number of different approaches to answer our questions.