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2023 Allen Distinguished Investigator award

The Allen Distinguished Investigator program provides three-year grants between $1M and $1.5M to individuals and teams

Sex hormone morphogenesis: a new frontier in studying organ development

How sex hormones influence organ development in the early embryo is not fully understood, but it is believed that they play an important role as a signaling molecule in early development. In this project, researchers will develop an in vitro platform that combines stem cell models of human development, high-throughput genome editing at the single cell level, and novel machine learning approaches to precisely define how sex hormones participate in cellular differentiation during organ development. This new embryomimetic platform has the potential to reveal unexpected connections between sex hormones and biochemical signaling, which could integrate sex hormone signaling within the broader efforts of mapping the human body.

Mijo Simunovic headshot

Mijo Simunovic, Ph.D.

Columbia University
Elham Azizi headshot

Elham Azizi, Ph.D.

Columbia University
Jose McFaline-Figueroa headshot

José L. McFaline-Figueroa, Ph.D.

Columbia University

This project is part of the 2023 Sex Hormones cohort

Researchers in this cohort are uncovering the cellular and molecular actions of sex hormones outside of reproduction and reproduction-related development. Their work addresses a key need to deepen our understanding of how sex hormones affect many of biological processes. These new discoveries have the potential to impact human health, including diagnostics and treatment.

Science Programs at Allen Institute