Universiteit Leiden

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Animal Sciences

Development & Disease in Animal Sciences

Animal Sciences’ contributions to the Development & Disease research theme include the mechanisms and evolution of embryonic development, the development of cognitive mechanisms, and animal models for understanding mechanisms of human disease.

We study the embryonic development of invertebrates, such as egg development of beetles, as well as vertebrates, such as limb development of birds and reptiles and vascular development in cell culture and zebrafish. For these studies, we develop cell culture and mathematical models alongside animal models. In our studies of cognitive development, we focus on learning and processing of vocal and visual signals in birds,  and the interrelations between acoustic stimuli, behaviour and physiological health in birds and fish. Our zebrafish models for human disease focus on immune-related diseases, including infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, salmonellosis, and aspergillosis, on metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and on cancer using human cancer cell xenografts.


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