The scientific goal of the Laboratory of Experimental Ontogeny (LEO) is to study the genetic and morphogenetic mechanisms that give rise to form, structure and functional organisation during ontogenic development. We use a trans-disciplinary approach to investigate developmental processes in which morphogenesis has a dramatic impact on embryo patterning to address open questions in developmental biology. Our strategy takes advantage of the transparency and genetic amenability of teleost embryos to extract in vivo detailed information on the genetic control of morphogenesis. Furthermore, in an attempt to achieve a comprehensive view of morphogenesis, we exploit the comparison of developmental processes among species to dissect conserved and divergent principles of development. [more]

Research Program


We investigate four main aspects of biological patterning during development: the origin or genetic control (GENE),the expression through morphogenesis (MORPH), the evolutionary and developmental transformations (EVO-DEVO), and the events of alteration with Biomedical impact (BIOMED).

We address GENE, MORPH, EVO-DEVO and BIOMED in the context of 3 main research areas: Brain Asymmetry, Cell morphopdynamics and Biomed.

News & Events

Cellmorphodynamics Latin America is an initiative that involves scientific events taking place in Santiago, Chile, which aim to foster scientific interactions, train young investigators and disseminate the field of cell and tissue morphodynamics in Latin America.

In the past, LEO and the Laboratory for Scientific Image Analytsis (SCIAN-lab) have organised the International Course: ‘Optics, Forces & Development’ (2012, 4, 2016). We are pleased to announce that will have a new version of this course in 2018. More details about the course and how to apply will be available during the second part of 2017.

Research Areas

. BRAIN ASYMMETRY - we use the parapineal-habenula-IPN circut of teleosts to study the mechanisms that control the development, function and evolution of brain asymmetry. [more]

. CELL MORPHODYNAMICS - we use zebrafish and annual killifish to study the mechanisms that shape the early vertebrate embryo, with a special focus on the role of mechanics. [more]

. BIOMEDICINE - we use zebrafish and annual killifish to develop models of neurodegeneration and brain aging. [more]

Learn about our history and philosophy. [more]

View courses and training opportunities. [more]

Fish Facility
Visit zebrafish, medaka and annual fish. [more]

Follow up meetings, seminars & events. [more]

Useful links
Evo-Devo -

LEO is founder member of "Biomedical Neuroscience Institue" (BNI). [more]


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