Physical Biology of Developing Systems Lab

We aim to understand space and time mechanisms of patterning in vertebrate embryonic tissues. For this purpose, we combine 1- quantitative state-of-art microscopy, 2- single cell level analysis of signal dynamics, and 3- data-informed predictive modeling of systems level biophysics. Zebrafish with its translucent, accessible, and multiplexed early embryonic development as well as tractable genetics is our favorite model organism! Broader vision of our research is discovering the conserved mechanisms of sequential segmentation across vertebrates and design principles of morphogen positional information in embryos. We are located at McMaster University.

Underlying Principles of Somitogenesis

How do vertebrate embryonic cells make repetitive decisions? What controls the robustness of embryo patterning during somite segmentation?

Systems Control of Morphogen Signaling

How do cells sense their position in an embryo? How do cells both create and interpret positional information through diffusive morphogens?


M. Fethullah Simsek

Assistant Professor

Department of Biology

Department of Physics and Astronomy

McMaster University

Muhammed is a physicist by training from his alma mater Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He holds a Ph.D. from Physics Department of University at Buffalo and did postdoctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Ertuğrul M. Özbudak, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY and Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Dila Aycan

Ph.D. Student

McMaster Biology

Dila started in the lab in January 2024 and she works on the mechanisms of regulation of the Fgf signalling gradient. Dila graduated from U of T in 2019 and did her Master's in the Univ of Ottawa. After her MSc, Dila worked as a Research Assistant at BlueRock Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA and as a Science Editor at Xtalks in Toronto, ON.

Future Shoal Member

A curious mind puzzled with the wonders of the living systems!


  • March, 2024

    Two great news within the last week of March: Our lab is now funded by CFI John Evans Leaders Fund, and NSERC Discovery Grant!

  • February, 2024

    Our lab is ready to move in to get the experiments cooking!

Contact Us

pBODS Lab has opened in January, 2024! If you are interested in joining pBODS lab, please send us an email including three things: 1- your CV, 2- a brief description of your past research exposure, 3- a brief answer for "what did you find interesting in this lab and how does it align with your future plans?"

Undergraduate students: Please inquire about joining the lab for the fullfilment of 3rd and 4th year independent research projects and theses.

Prospective graduate students: Please apply through the School of Graduate Studies for either Master's or Ph.D. admission. Note the application deadlines for For Fall 2025 start date: January 31st, 2024 (for international students) and May 31st, 2024 (for students from Canada). Please inquire for other entry dates.

  • Address

    Life Sciences Building Rm. 421
    McMaster University
    1280 Main Street West
    Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1
  • Email
  • Phone

    (905) 525-9140 ext.21763
  • Social