UVA Biology People Christine Thisse

Christine Thisse

Distinguished Board of Visitors Scholar and Professor of Cell Biology

Fellow with the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies

Cell Biology Department, Pinn Hall, Third Floor, Rm. 3218 
(434) 243-6613


  • PhD, Molecular Genetics, Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg
  • Postdoc, Developmental Biology, University of Oregon

Research Interests

I am a Molecular and Developmental Biologist with interest in cell determination and differentiation leading to the formation of stereotypical and well-patterned tissues and organs. We use 2 model systems: the early zebrafish embryo and embryonic mouse stem cells. During the past decades, our lab has achieved an extensive analysis of the factors responsible for establishing the antero-posterior and dorso-ventral axes of the zebrafish embryo and their regulation. We are currently studying how left-right asymmetry is setup and controlled and how factors mediating or regulating the transcriptional response of the Hippo pathway contribute to this process. More recently, we identified the minimal set of morphogens sufficient to control cell fate and morphogenesis and to organize pluripotent cells into a well-developed embryo. We are currently developing a mouse embryo-mimetic system in vitro, with the goal of properly recapitulating the formation and function of normal tissues and organs. This study will have a significant impact in the field of Stem Cell Biology and will move the field of Regenerative Medicine closer to the goal of producing in vitro functional organs that could be efficient substitutes for donor organ transplantation in the future. For more information, please visit my website.