The Jacobson laboratory group has analyzed several embryonic induction systems, including nose, lens, ear, neural plate, neural crest, heart, blood, forelimb, and mesonephric kidney. In addition to analysis of the essential tissue interactions of embryonic induction, we studied some of the consequent changes in the responding tissues, especially morphogenetic movements in the neural plate.
Nearly thirty years of neurulation studies included early biomechanical and computer simulation studies. Neurulation was examined in amphibian, chick, and mouse embryos.
We have investigated global patterning mechanisms for some embryonic inductions, and the patterning and positioning of organ rudiments, as well as the induction, patterning and segmentation of the paraxial mesoderm. We predicted that axial segmental patterning was present well before somites form, and this was confirmed by the discovery of somitomeres by Meier. We collaborated with Meier and continued work with somitomeres since his death.
In a collaboration with R.P.S. Jefferies of the Natural History Museum, London, we sought to elucidate the embryonic changes and mechanisms that must have been needed to convert a calcichordate ancestor into the earliest craniate during evolution of vertebrates.