Katja Röper

active 2 years, 9 months ago


Full Name

Katja Röper

Current position



MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology


Cambridge, United Kingdom

Research interests

Regulation of cell shape by the cytoskeleton during tissue morphogenesis



Research activity


Regulation of cell shape by the cytoskeleton during development and tissue morphogenesis

The formation of different tissues from sheets of epithelial cells involves individual cell shape changes, driven by the intracellular cytoskeleton, that are integrated to contribute to the overall change in tissue shape. Many of the gene regulatory networks that specify tissue identity have been uncovered, but how the collection of genes expressed leads to the complex shape changes that drive morphogenesis is not well understood. We use a tractable invertebrate model system, Drosophila, as our ‘tissue culture incubator’ in combination with state-of-the-art live and high resolution imaging approaches, to acquire a better understanding of the guiding principles of tissue morphogenesis by bridging the differing scales between molecular (cytoskeletal), cellular and tissue behaviour.
In particular, we study the molecular function of two cytoskeletal crosslinker or cytolinker proteins, Shot and Pigs, that have the ability to coordinate and bind actin and microtubules at the same time, and we aim to understand how they interact with developmental signalling pathways. We also use a model process of tubulogenesis to identify how the cytoskeleton drives the cell shape changes underlying tube formation, combining live and super-resolution imaging and cell tracing in 4D.

Representative publications

23153493, 20150280, 19064711, 17327273

Research keywords

cytoskeleton, cytolinker, morphogenesis, cell shape, Drosophila, Crumbs, microtubules, actin, tissue mechanics, polarity, epithelial tubes, tubulogenesis


Latitude and Longitude