The Herrera lab specializes in the study of principles and applications of cellular self-organization. We study both cell-cell and cell-environment dynamic relationships that drive the emergence of structure and function in multicellular systems.
We are particularly interested in the role of the cellular microenvironment (mechanical cues and external constraints) as dynamic factors controlling tissue self-organization. We currently perform experiments with cell engineering, molecular biology, advanced confocal microscopy, and cell mechanics in cultured cells and in the developing embryo of the fruit fly. The long-term goal of our research centers in the construction of organized living structures with designed functionalities and three-dimensional forms that can be used to improve tissues models and to develop new engineered biological machines.