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  • Prof.  Chaya Kalcheim
Prof Chaya Kalcheim

Research Interests

We investigate  cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the nervous and skeletal systems during embryonic development. Specifically, we seek to uncover the gene regulatory networks responsible for lineage segregation and specification of embryonic epithelia, such as the premigratory neural crest and the somite. In addition, we investigate cell migration and patterning of nascent structures such as ganglia and muscles and aim at understanding the relationship between specification and the control of subsequent cellular migrations.​

Find out more in our lab website:

Recent Projects​

     The mechanism of delamination of neural crest progenitors from the dorsal neural tube.

     Lineage specification of neural crest progenitors into neural and melanocyte derivatives.
     The role of Foxd3 in fate descisions taken by neural crest progenitors.
     The mechanisms underlying the termination of neural crest production.
     The role of the orientation of cell divisions in fate segregation of dermomyotome progenitors.
     A gene regulatory network underlying the segregation of muscle and vascular fates from the lateral dermomyotome.
     The role of Sonic hedgehog in the transition from muscle differentiation into growth.
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Lab Members
Nitza Kahane, Senior Scientist
Erez Nitzan, PhD student
Mordechai Applebaum, PhD student
Osnat Halperin-Barlev, PhD student
Rina Berger, Lab assistant

Recent Publications
1: Nitzan E, Pfaltzgraff ER, Labosky PA, Kalcheim C. Neural crest and Schwann
cell progenitor-derived melanocytes are two spatially segregated populations
similarly regulated by Foxd3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul

2: Shtukmaster S, Schier MC, Huber K, Krispin S, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K.
Sympathetic neurons and chromaffin cells share a common progenitor in the neural 
crest in vivo. Neural Dev. 2013 Jun 18;8:12. 

3: Nitzan E, Krispin S, Pfaltzgraff ER, Klar A, Labosky PA, Kalcheim C. A dynamic
code of dorsal neural tube genes regulates the segregation between neurogenic and
melanogenic neural crest cells. Development. 2013 Jun;140(11):2269-79. 

4: Kahane N, Ribes V, Kicheva A, Briscoe J, Kalcheim C. The transition from
differentiation to growth during dermomyotome-derived myogenesis depends on
temporally restricted hedgehog signaling. Development. 2013 Apr;140(8):1740-50.

5: Unsicker K, Huber K, Schober A, Kalcheim C. Resolved and open issues in
chromaffin cell development. Mech Dev. 2013 Jun-Aug;130(6-8):324-9. 

6: Nitzan E, Kalcheim C. Neural crest and somitic mesoderm as paradigms to
investigate cell fate decisions during development. Dev Growth Differ. 2013

7: Shoval I, Kalcheim C. Antagonistic activities of Rho and Rac GTPases underlie 
the transition from neural crest delamination to migration. Dev Dyn. 2012

8: Ben-Yair R, Kahane N, Kalcheim C. LGN-dependent orientation of cell divisions 
in the dermomyotome controls lineage segregation into muscle and dermis.
Development. 2011 Oct;138(19):4155-66.

9: Kalcheim C. Regulation of trunk myogenesis by the neural crest: a new facet of
neural crest-somite interactions. Dev Cell. 2011 Aug 16;21(2):187-8. 

10: Halperin-Barlev O, Kalcheim C. Sclerotome-derived Slit1 drives directional
migration and differentiation of Robo2-expressing pioneer myoblasts. Development.
2011 Jul;138(14):2935-45. d

11: Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Single cell transfection in chick embryos. J Vis Exp.
2010 Sep 25;(43). 

12: Krispin S, Nitzan E, Kalcheim C. The dorsal neural tube: a dynamic setting
for cell fate decisions. Dev Neurobiol. 2010 Oct;70(12):796-812.

13: Krispin S, Nitzan E, Kassem Y, Kalcheim C. Evidence for a dynamic
spatiotemporal fate map and early fate restrictions of premigratory avian neural 
crest. Development. 2010 Feb;137(4):585-95.

14: Huber K, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K. The development of the chromaffin cell
lineage from the neural crest. Auton Neurosci. 2009 Nov 17;151(1):10-6. 

15: Huber K, Franke A, Brühl B, Krispin S, Ernsberger U, Schober A, von Bohlen
und Halbach O, Rohrer H, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K. Persistent expression of BMP-4
in embryonic chick adrenal cortical cells and its role in chromaffin cell
development. Neural Dev. 2008 Oct 22;3:28. 

16: Groysman M, Shoval I, Kalcheim C. A negative modulatory role for rho and
rho-associated kinase signaling in delamination of neural crest cells. Neural
Dev. 2008 Oct 22;3:27. 

17: Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Notch and bone morphogenetic protein differentially
act on dermomyotome cells to generate endothelium, smooth, and striated muscle. J
Cell Biol. 2008 Feb 11;180(3):607-18. 

18: Kahane N, Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Medial pioneer fibers pattern the
morphogenesis of early myoblasts derived from the lateral somite. Dev Biol. 2007 
May 15;305(2):439-50.

19: Shoval I, Ludwig A, Kalcheim C. Antagonistic roles of full-length N-cadherin 
and its soluble BMP cleavage product in neural crest delamination. Development.
2007 Feb;134(3):491-501.

20: Kalcheim C, Kahane N, Cinnamon Y, Ben-Yair R. Mechanisms of lineage
segregation in the avian dermomyotome. Anat Embryol (Berl). 2006 Dec;211 Suppl

21: Cinnamon Y, Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Differential effects of
N-cadherin-mediated adhesion on the development of myotomal waves. Development.
2006 Mar;133(6):1101-12. 

22: Unsicker K, Huber K, Schütz G, Kalcheim C. The chromaffin cell and its
development. Neurochem Res. 2005 Jun-Jul;30(6-7):921-5. 

23: Gut P, Huber K, Lohr J, Brühl B, Oberle S, Treier M, Ernsberger U, Kalcheim
C, Unsicker K. Lack of an adrenal cortex in Sf1 mutant mice is compatible with
the generation and differentiation of chromaffin cells. Development. 2005

24: Kalcheim C, Ben-Yair R. Cell rearrangements during development of the somite 
and its derivatives. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2005 Aug;15(4):371-80. 

25: Kalcheim C, Burstyn-Cohen T. Early stages of neural crest ontogeny: formation
and regulation of cell delamination. Int J Dev Biol. 2005;49(2-3):105-16. 

26: Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Lineage analysis of the avian dermomyotome sheet
reveals the existence of single cells with both dermal and muscle progenitor
fates. Development. 2005 Feb;132(4):689-701. 

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