More About Us
What is Morphogenesis?
Faculty Positions
Contact Us


Morphogenesis is one of the major outstanding problems in the biological sciences. It concerns the fundamental question of how biological form and structure are generated. Morphogenesis encompasses a broad scope of biological processes. It concerns adult as well as embryonic tissues, and includes an understanding of the maintenance, degeneration, and regeneration of tissues and organs as well as their formation. Morphogenesis also addresses the problem of biological form at many levels, from the structure of individual cells, through the formation of multicellular arrays and tissues, to the higher order assembly of tissues into organs and whole organisms. While related to the field of developmental biology with its traditional emphasis on the control of gene expression and the acquisition of cell fates, morphogenesis investigates how this regulation of cell fates contributes to the form and structure of the organism and its component parts.

Regenerative medicine is an exciting emerging branch of medicine in which cell and tissue based therapies are applied to the treatments of disease. It encompasses the fields of tissue engineering, biomaterials, stem cell applications, and the study of associated human diseases. Knowledge from scientific inquiry about morphogenesis and its translation into the study of regenerative medicine will help us prevent birth defects, control abnormal tissue growth, slow the deterioration and aging of tissues, facilitate the repair, regeneration and replacement of injured tissues, and eventually even allow us to produce replacement tissues and organs in vitro.

We invite you to visit this site again in the future for much more research and educational material about morphogenesis and regenerative medicine.

© 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia