Sean Megason

  • Latest publications

    Hiscock TW, Megason SG. (2015). “Orientation of Turing-like Patterns by Morphogen Gradients and Tissue Anisotropies”, Cell Systems 1(6), 408-416

    Xiong F, Megason SG. (2015). “Abstracting the principles of development using imaging and modeling”, Integrative Biology, 7, 633 – 642.

    Hiscock TW, Megason SG. (2015). “Mathematically guided approaches to distinguish models of periodic patterning”, Development 142, 409-419.

    Xiong F, Ma W, Hiscock TW, Mosaliganti KR, Tentner AR, Brakke KA, Rannou N, Gelas A, Souhait, Swinburne IA, Obholzer ND, Megason SG. (2014). “Interplay of cell shape and division orientation promotes robust morphogenesis of developing epithelia.” Cell, 159(2):415-427.

    Xiong F, Tentner AR, Huang P, Gelas A, Mosaliganti KR, Souhait L, Rannou R, Swinburne IA, Obholzer ND, Cowgill PD, Schier AF, Megason SG (2013). “Specified Neural Progenitors Sort to Form Sharp Domains after Noisy Shh Signaling” , Cell, 153(3):550-561.

  • Prizes and Awards

    Armenise-Harvard Junior Faculty Grant, Department of Systems Biology, “The role of waveform in morphogen induction of cell fate”, 2014

Who he is

Sean Megason received a BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. He performed his PhD in the laboratory of Andrew McMahon at Harvard on the control of organ size in the neural tube. He then went to Caltech for postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Scott Fraser on microscopy where he developed “in toto imaging”.

Dr. Megason started his laboratory at Harvard University in the Department of Systems Biology in 2008.

What he does

The Megason Lab uses imaging-based systems biology to elucidate the systems level principles of animal development. They are particularly interested in long standing problems in embryology whose understanding has defied molecular reduction namely patterning, morphogenesis, and size control.

The Megason Lab pursues these questions in the inner ear and spinal cord of zebrafish using a variety of techniques including microscopy, mathematical modeling, and molecular and mechanical perturbation.

News from the Lab

Most recently the Megason Lab has developed new theories concerning how the size of organs is controlled despite numerous sources of variation. In the inner ear, negative feedback between fluid pressure in the lumen and the flux of fluid into the ear allows size variation to be controlled.

In the spinal cord, feedback between the rate at which cells divide and the rate at which their neighbors differentiate balances the number of cells to ensure proper growth.