In development, numerous cell types with highly specific functions arise from a single cell, the zygote. During this process, the embryo must strike a fine balance between replenishing stem cell populations (i.e., self-renewal) and appropriate induction of specialized cells (differentiation). Remarkably, all of these decisions take place largely without changing genomic content, which underscores the importance of regulatory mechanisms in development. Understanding these mechanisms is crucial for both basic science and medicine. Our lab seeks to develop and apply innovative tools to study the molecular determinants of cell fate.