Idse Heemskerk

Born in: The Netherlands
Primary research category: Quantitative Developmental Biology, Biological Physics
Research location / employer: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Fellowship dates: 2016-2021

Academic Career

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Rice University, Department of BioSciences, 2015-2018
  • Moore Postdoctoral Fellow, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, 2012-2015
  • PhD in Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012
  • MSc in Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam, 2007
  • BSc in Computer Science, University of Amsterdam, 2007
  • BSc in Physics, University of Amsterdam, 2005

Fellowship Research

Dr. Idse Heemskerk will take advantage of the unparalleled experimental control of hESCs in engineered environments to improve our general understanding of embryonic patterning and at the same time reveal uniquely human aspects of this process.When properly controlled, hESC cultures will produce a self-organized morphogen gradient and mimic the process of gastrulation, the embryonic stage in which the body axes are established and cells differentiate into three distinct lineages. The goal of this project is to determine how this morphogen gradient forms, and how its changing levels affect differentiation toward the three lineages, a major question that is not addressed by current models. Once this is established, Dr. Heemskerk will proceed to investigate the interplay between pattern formation and growth, which is a first step toward understanding how the body is shaped.

Major Awards

  • Luce Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara, 2010
  • Wheelon Award, UC Santa Barbara, 2008