Ashley E. Bruce



St. George (downtown)

CSB Appointment


Research Areas

Animal Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics / Genomics, Molecular Biology


Ph.D. Harvard University 1997
B.A. Brown University 1990

Primary Undergraduate Department

Cell & Systems Biology

Graduate Programs

Cell & Systems Biology
Developmental Biology

Research Description

How are the complex and varied body plans of animals generated during embryonic development? Coordinated cell shape changes and cell movements, which constitute morphogenesis, generate the structure of tissues and organs of all animals. Concomitant with morphogenesis, is the specification of the germ layers, leading to the assignment of cell fates. Together, morphogenesis and cell fate specification underlie the transformation of a simple cleavage stage embryo into a complex, well-patterned adult, and when they go wrong, profound patterning defects result. Remarkably, the astonishing diversity of animal forms arises from a limited set of cellular processes that are shared by animal species. Thus, by examining these processes in the experimentally tractable zebrafish embryo we can learn about fundamental cellular properties and mechanisms of morphogenesis and tissue patterning that are likely to be widely used throughout animal development.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 416-946-0436
Office: RW 606A
Lab: RW606/RW607
Lab Phone: 416-946-7218

Mailing Address

Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto
25 Harbord St.
Toronto, ON M5S 3G5

Recent News

Congratulations to CSB’s Graduate Student Award Recipients!

Congratulations to our Graduate Students who earned recognition for their accomplishments at our Graduate Student Awards on December 19th, 2022!…

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Two-phase kinetics and cell cortex elastic behavior in Xenopus gastrula cell-cell adhesion

Parent SE, Luu O, Bruce AE, Winklbauer R
2023, Developmental Cell, 10.1016/j.devcel.2023.11.014

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Eomes function is conserved between zebrafish and mouse and controls left-right organiser progenitor gene expression via interlocking feedforward loops.

Talbot CD, Walsh MD, Cutty SJ, Elsayed R, Vlachaki E, Bruce AEE, Wardle FC, Nelson AC
2022, Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10, 982477, 36133924

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The recycling endosome protein Rab25 coordinates collective cell movements in the zebrafish surface epithelium.

Willoughby PM, Allen M, Yu J, Korytnikov R, Chen T, Liu Y, So I, Macpherson N, Mitchell JA, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Bruce AE
2021, eLife, 10, 33755014

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Brachyury in the gastrula of basal vertebrates

Bruce AE, Winklbauer R
2020, Mechanisms of Development, 10.1016/j.mod.2020.103625

Mechanisms of zebrafish epiboly: A current view

Bruce AE, Heisenberg C
2020, , 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2019.07.001

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A cargo model of yolk syncytial nuclear migration during zebrafish epiboly.

Fei Z, Bae K, Parent SE, Wan H, Goodwin K, Theisen U, Tanentzapf G, Bruce AEE
2019, Development (Cambridge, England), 146, 30509968

Spatiotemporal characterization of dynamic epithelial filopodia during zebrafish epiboly

Rutherford NE, Wong AH, Bruce AEE
2019, Developmental Dynamics, 10.1002/dvdy.94

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Oxidative Stress Orchestrates Cell Polarity to Promote Embryonic Wound Healing.

Hunter MV, Willoughby PM, Bruce AEE, Fernandez-Gonzalez R
2018, Developmental cell, 47, 377-387.e4, 30399336

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An Actomyosin-Arf-GEF Negative Feedback Loop for Tissue Elongation under Stress.

West JJ, Zulueta-Coarasa T, Maier JA, Lee DM, Bruce AEE, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Harris TJC
2017, Current biology : CB, 27, 2260-2270.e5, 28736167

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Zebrafish Epiboly: Spreading thin over the yolk

Bruce AE
2015, Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 26434660

PAPC mediates self/non-self-distinction during Snail1-dependent tissue separation

Luu O, Damm EW, Parent SE, Barua D, Smith TH, Wen JW, Lepage SE, Nagel M, Ibrahim-Gawel H, Huang Y, Bruce AE, Winklbauer R
2015, The Journal of cell biology, 208, 839-856, 25778923

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Global identification of Smad2 and Eomesodermin targets in zebrafish identifies a conserved transcriptional network in mesendoderm and a novel role for Eomesodermin in repression of ectodermal gene expression

Nelson AC, Cutty SJ, Niini M, Stemple DL, Flicek P, Houart C, Bruce A, Wardle FC
2014, BMC biology, 12, 81, 25277163

Dynamin-dependent maintenance of epithelial integrity is essential for zebrafish epiboly

Lepage SE, Bruce AE
2014, Bioarchitecture, 4, 31-4, 24522009

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Zebrafish Dynamin is required for maintenance of enveloping layer integrity and the progression of epiboly

Lepage SE, Tada M, Bruce AE
2014, Developmental biology, 385, 52-66, 24161849

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Differential regulation of epiboly initiation and progression by zebrafish Eomesodermin A

Du S, Draper BW, Mione M, Moens CB, Bruce A
2012, Developmental biology, 362, 11-23, 22142964

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The tight junction component Claudin E is required for zebrafish epiboly

Siddiqui M, Sheikh H, Tran C, Bruce AE
2010, Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 239, 715-22, 20014098

Zebrafish epiboly: mechanics and mechanisms

Lepage SE, Bruce AE
2010, The International journal of developmental biology, 54, 1213-28, 20712002

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Short- and long-range functions of Goosecoid in zebrafish axis formation are independent of Chordin, Noggin 1 and Follistatin-like 1b

Dixon Fox M, Bruce AE
2009, Development (Cambridge, England), 136, 1675-85, 19369398

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Characterization and comparative expression of zebrafish calpain system genes during early development

Lepage SE, Bruce AE
2008, Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 237, 819-29, 18265014

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Fog1 is required for cardiac looping in zebrafish

Walton RZ, Bruce AE, Olivey HE, Najib K, Johnson V, Earley JU, Ho RK, Svensson EC
2006, Developmental biology, 289, 482-93, 16316643

T-box gene eomesodermin and the homeobox-containing Mix/Bix gene mtx2 regulate epiboly movements in the zebrafish

Bruce AE, Howley C, Dixon Fox M, Ho RK
2005, Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists, 233, 105-14, 15765511

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The maternally expressed zebrafish T-box gene eomesodermin regulates organizer formation

Bruce AE, Howley C, Zhou Y, Vickers SL, Silver LM, King ML, Ho RK
2003, Development (Cambridge, England), 130, 5503-17, 14530296

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