The field of Developmental Biology asks the fundamental question of how the simple and uniform early embryo is programmed to give rise to an astonishing variety of tissues and functions in the adult. Our lab is mostly interested in these topics during the development of the nervous system, by studying two distinct, although related, embryonic tissues; hindbrain and neural crest. Chicken and mouse embryos serve as model systems to answer central questions such as which genes coordinate hindbrain development from early embryonic stages to later processes of neural differentiation, axonal navigation, synaptic projection and wiring, and how ECM-related proteases promote neural crest migration. In addition, a more applicable-oriented research in the lab aims to establish novel strategies to modify somatic and germ cells in chicken embryos for the production of transgenic chickens.