The Yamaguchi laboratory is studying how the Wnt family of signaling molecules regulates the formation of the mammalian body plan. We are focused on neuromesodermal progenitors (NMPs), a population of embryonic cells that give rise to the spinal cord and musculoskeletal cells of the mammalian trunk and tail. Wnts are secreted by the primitive streak during gastrulation and induce NMPs from the adjacent pluripotent epiblast however the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We are particularly interested in understanding how Wnts induce NMP fate from the pluripotent epiblast, how gene regulatory networks control cell fate selection, and how the neck, trunk and tail are uniquely specified. I will focus on the roles that several transcription factors play in the regulation of these processes.