The research in our lab is centered on understanding the mechanisms and principles of cellular movement. Cytoskeletal filaments – composed of actin and microtubules – serve as a structural scaffolding that defines the architecture of the cytoplasm and gives cells the ability to divide, crawl, and change their shapes. We are interested in understanding how cells regulate cytoskeletal dynamics to produce motility. Our primary model system is the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster as it allows us to use functional genomic tools and classical genetic techniques to study gene function at the level of individual cells and during development. Current projects in the lab address mechanisms of microtubule dynamic instability, crosstalk between the actin and microtubule cytoskeletal networks, and the regulation of cellular contractility during Drosophila gastrulation.