I study brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders. In children, these neurodevelopmental disorders can cause problems with speech and language, behavior, motor skills, learning, memory and other neurological functions. Though symptoms and behaviors may change as the child grows older, some disorders may cause permanent disabilities.
My lab studies the development of the anterior forebrain called the telencephalon.
We have two major projects:
- A study on the molecular genetics of basal ganglia development from the ventral telencephalon.
- Developing mouse models to study the impact of RASopathy mutations during brain development. RASopathies are rare genetic syndromes that result in several phenotypes including developmental delay and learning disorders.
One of our accomplishments was identifying that a Noonan Syndrome PTPN11 mouse model had altered oligodendrocyte (myelin-forming cells) development. At Cincinnati Children’s, my lab has multiple collaborations including projects with Dr. Kenneth Campbell's lab in the Division of Developmental Biology to study basal ganglia differentiation. We are also part of the RASopathy research program established by Dr. Nancy Ratner in Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology and are collaborating with the RASopathy program clinical director, Dr. Carlos Prada in the Division of Human Genetics to identify and model new gene mutations that cause neurodevelopment disorders.
I received a PhD in the Molecular and Developmental Biology graduate program at the University of Cincinnati. I was enrolled in the post-doctoral fellowship program at Cincinnati Children's from 2005 to 2010. I continued my career at Cincinnati Children's to start my independent research lab in 2010 and have more than nine years of experience.
My work has been published in various publications, including The Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Cerebral Cortex, Neural Development, The Journal of Comparative Neurology and Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences.
Forebrain progenitor cell differentiation; “RASopathy” genes
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cancer and Blood Diseases