Wells JM, Melton DA. 1999. Vertebrate endoderm development. Annual review of cell and developmental biology. 15:393-410. Pubmed: 10611967


Endoderm, one of the three principal germ layers, contributes to all organs of the alimentary tract. For simplicity, this review divides formation of endodermal organs into four fundamental steps: (a) formation of endoderm during gastrulation, (b) morphogenesis of a gut tube from a sheet of cells, (c) budding of organ domains from the tube, and (d) differentiation of organ-specific cell types within the growing buds. We discuss possible mechanisms that regulate how undifferentiated endoderm becomes specified into a myriad of cell types that populate the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.

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Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

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