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Developmental Biology

Research Department

Group photo of the Departmet of Developmental Biology team

The department deals with research into the genetic regulation of embryonic development. In our studies, we use tissue-specific gene inactivation (knock‑out) technologies in mice using the Cre-loxP system. We study the functions of Wnt, Shh and FGF signaling pathways and selected transcription factors, e.g. from the Meis, Hand and Pbx families. We focus on the differentiation of neural crest cells and the associated germinal development of cartilage and bone in the craniofacial area and the middle ear. We also study the cellular mechanisms of neural tissue formation derived from neural crest cells. Analyses in mouse models are complemented by experiments in Danio rerio fish embryos. In both experimental organisms, we try to clarify the genetic nature of some human developmental defects.

Ondřej Machoň

Head of the Department
Ondřej Machoň, Ph.D.

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Deputy Head

Simona Vojtěchová, M.Sc.


Ondřej Machoň, Ph.D.


Mehmet Mahsum Kaplan, Ph.D.

PhD Students

Erika Hudáčová, M.Sc.

Viktorie Psutková, M.Sc.

Pre-Grad Students

Andrea Burianová

Lucie Sázavská, B.Sc.

Laboratory Technicians

Simona Vojtěchová, M.Sc.

Important results

Meis2 controls skeletal formation in the hyoid region

We identified Meis2 as a critical transcription factor determining embryonic bone formation. In the hyoid bone, we showed that mesenchymal condensation, chondroblast proliferation and their spatial arrangement is driven by transcription factor Meis2.

Elevated proliferation of SOX9 cells in the cartilage primordium of the hyoid bone in Wnt1-Cre2; Meis2 f/f. (A-C’) Frontal frozen sections with orthogonal projections of hyoid regions in controls and Wnt1-Cre2; Meis2 f/f. (D) Quantifications of the percentage of double positive EdU/SOX9 cells in controls and Wnt1-Cre2; Meis2 f/f.



Fábik, J., Psutková, V., Machoň, O.: (2022) Meis2 controls skeletal formation in the hyoid region. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 28(10): 951063. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2022.951063