The long-term goal of research in the Jiang Laboratory is to understand and apply mechanisms of mammalian organogenesis to the development of better strategies for diagnosis, treatment and / or prevention of human birth defects. Our lab is part of the Craniofacial Biology Group, which includes researchers in the Division of Developmental Biology, Division of Human Genetics and Division of Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Craniofacial malformations, including cleft lip and cleft palate, are among the most common structural birth defects, but the etiology and pathogenic mechanisms underlying these birth defects are not well understood. Since embryological processes driving formation of the craniofacial complex are remarkably similar in mice and humans, we are using mouse genetic approaches in combination with embryological and high-throughput genomic methodologies to identify and characterize the genes and molecular pathways regulating craniofacial morphogenesis.
Another area of our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms patterning the mammalian organogenetic fields. In particular, we recently identified a family of transcription factors with critical roles in controlling organogenesis from the intermediate mesoderm and the craniofacial mesenchyme.