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Hiiragi: Multi-cellular coordination

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The Hiiragi group studies robustness in development and aims to understand the design principle of self-organising multi-cellular systems.

Self-organisation is a defining feature of living systems and entails complex interplay between molecular, cellular and mechanical signals across various spatio-temporal scales. Using early mammalian embryos as a model, the Hiiragi group adopts a variety of methods including genetics, microscopy, biophysics, engineering and modelling, to investigate how self-organised forms and patterns emerge from a spherical mass of cells.

Key publications

Temporal variability and cell mechanics control robustness in mammalian embryogenesis

Fabrèges D, Corominas Murtra B, [...], Hannezo E, and Hiiragi T



Hydraulic control of mammalian embryo size and cell fate.

Chan CJ, Costanco M [...] Mahadevan L and Hiiragi T

Nature 571: 112-116


Group leader

Takashi Hiiragi

Takashi Hiiragi is group leader at the Hubrecht Institute.  The Hiiragi group aims to understand what defines multi-cellular living systems. In particular, the group studies the design principle of tissue self-organization, using early mammalian embryos as a model system. To this end, they developed an experimental framework that integrates biology, physics and mathematics. Their recent studies led to a model in which feedback between cell fate, polarity, and cell and tissue mechanics underlies multi-cellular self-organization. The group adopts a wide variety of experimental strategies including embryology, genetics, advanced microscopy, biophysics, engineering and theoretical modelling, in order to address fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology.

Scientific training and positions

Awards and grants

Group members

Takashi Hiiragi

Group Leader

Samira Hozeifi


Portrait picture Dimitri Fabreges

Dimitri Fabrèges


Anniek Stokkermans


Laura Rodriguez Muñoz


Gawoon Shim


Portrait picture Prachiti Moghe

Prachiti Moghe

PhD Student

Erica van der Maas

PhD Student

Tim Lange

PhD Student

Junki Cho


Fabrice Ley

MSc Student

Takafumi Ichikawa


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Open positions

Positions are available for ambitious predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows interested in addressing fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology. Please send your research interest and CV to Takashi Hiiragi (