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Andreas FritzAssociate Professor

The Fritz Lab

Lab Website
Lab Location:  Rollins 1158
Lab Phone:       404-727-2294



  • Diploma Thesis, University of Basel, Switzerland, 1983
  • Diploma in Biology II, University of Basel, Switzerland, 1983
  • Ph.D., University of Basel, Switzerland, 1988

Research Area

  • Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Graduate Program Affiliation

  • Biochemistry, Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology

Research Description

The generation of complex multicellular organisms from a single cell, the fertilized egg, is one of the most fascinating processes in biology. The events that govern embryogenesis are regulated by an intricate interplay of signaling and transcription factors that ensure that embryos develop in a reliable and highly reproducible manner. To address the molecular and genetic requirements that underlie these processes, we use zebrafish to study how signaling events are integrated and translated into specific cellular outputs.

The main focus of our lab is the induction and early development of paired sensory organs such as the inner ear and olfactory organ. We are also interested in the development of the notochord, a defining feature of all vertebrates. In these contexts, we are mainly investigating the BMP (bone morphogenetic proteins) and FGF (fibroblast growth factor) signaling pathways, and how the modulation and integration of their activities control fate acquisition and cellular behavior in embryogenesis.

Our studies on the development of the inner ear has potential implications for understanding why the sensory cells (hair cells) in mammals fail to regenerate after damage, a major underlying cause of hearing loss or impairment. Other vertebrates, including zebrafish, retain the ability to regenerate these hair cells. Our work on notochord development has potential implications of the formation and maintenance of stem cell niches.

Research Lab Description

The highly reproducible development of complex organisms from a single cell is one of the most amazing biological processes. We use the zebrafish model system to investigate the genetic and molecular requirements underlying embryonic patterning and development.