Our lab studies basic mechanisms by which signaling between cells coordinates morphogenesis. Understanding this control has significance beyond its fundamental importance in development since birth defects are the leading cause of death for infants during the first year of life. Craniofacial anomalies are a common class of congenital defect in humans, with three quarters of all malformations identified at birth involving craniofacial dysmorphogenesis.
We utilize multiple approaches based in mouse genetics to understand fundamental signaling processes as they relate to development and disease. In addition to targeted and conditional gene disruption in mice, we generate mice harboring targeted point mutations that disrupt specific signal transduction pathways. By integrating these in-vivo approaches with embryo culture, live imaging, mass spectrometry-based phospho-proteomics, cell biology and biochemistry, we seek to understand the mechanistic basis of signaling control of craniofacial development.
BMS graduate student Abby Kindberg had her abstract selected for an oral presentation at the 2017 GRC on "Cell Contact as a Master Regulator of Membrane Organization, Mechanics and Signaling". She presented her work on "Cellular Mechanisms of Eph/ephrin mediated cell segregation and boundary formation in development"
Congratulations to Terren Niethamer, who won the best talk award at the GRS for Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Tissue Regeneration! Terren's talk was entitled "Working towards a therapeutic strategy for craniofrontonasal syndrome:defining the timing and cell type specificity of aberrant EPHRIN-B1-mediated cell segregation."
Post-doc Audrey O'Neill will begin a new position at Invitae, a genetic information company that focuses on bringing genetic testing into mainstream medical practice. Her work will focus on analyzing genetic variants to determine if they are causal to human genetic diseases.