Nate Lord

Nate Lord, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. in Systems Biology, Harvard University


Research Summary
Developing embryos must orchestrate the fates and movements of their cells with precision. However, precise control is no easy feat; genetic mutations, unexpected environmental perturbations and noisy signaling all threaten to scramble communication. Despite these challenges, development is remarkably robust. How do developing systems ensure precise pattern formation? How are mistakes corrected when they occur? Can we learn to engineer synthetic systems to have the reliability of developing embryos? Answers to these questions must span multiple scales, from signaling responses in individual cells to collective cell movement and morphogenesis. Our lab will tackle these questions with a combination of optogenetic manipulation, quantitative microscopy, computational modeling and classical embryology. Over the long run, we hope to learn the mechanistic principles that enable embryos to avoid and correct errors in development.


Recent Publications
Lord ND, Carte AN, Abitua PB, Schier AF (2021) The pattern of nodal morphogen signaling is shaped by co-receptor expression eLife.

Lord ND, Carte AN, Abitua PB, Schier AF (2019) Co-receptor expression shapes the Nodal signaling gradient bioRxiv.

Lord ND, Norman TM, Yuan R, Bakshi S, Losick R, Paulsson J (2019) Stochastic antagonism between two proteins governs a bacterial cell fate switch Science. 366: 116-120 Publications

Project title Proj Start Date Proj End Date Funding Source
Spatially Guided Morphogenesis of Human Liver Organoids

Mechanisms of Morphogen Transport and Interpretation in Early Embryos







Charles E. Kaufman Foundation