We generate and use mutant mouse models to investigate the genetic basis and developmental mechanisms of human developmental disorders. Our research projects focus on mechanisms of craniofacial development and kidney organogenesis.
- Genetic basis and pathogenic mechanisms of cleft lip and palate: Cleft lip and cleft palate (CLP) are among the most common birth defects in humans. The etiology of CLP is complex and involves interactions of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Since mice and humans share remarkably similar craniofacial morphology and developmental mechanisms, we use forward genetic approaches to identify genes and genetic interactions underlying CLP pathogenesis. Read more.
- Molecular mechanisms of palate development: To complement the forward genetic approaches for identifying genes underlying craniofacial birth defects, we are using the Cre / loxP-mediated tissue specific gene inactivation strategy in combination with microarray / RNAseq, ChIP-seq and molecular marker analyses approaches to unravel the molecular network regulating palate development. Read more.
- Molecular patterning of mammalian organogenetic fields: Organogenesis occurs at specific locations and involves complex inductive and inhibitory interactions at the cellular and molecular levels to ensure proper structure and function. Our recent gene knockout studies showed that the odd-skipped family transcription factors play critical roles in development of multiple organs. Read more.