Cardiac and skeletal muscle development, differentiation, and function
Tissues and organs form during mammalian embryonic development through the integration of numerous signaling and transcriptional pathways. Our major goal is to define pathways controlling organ formation to understand normal development, the molecular basis for congenital defects, and potential mechanisms for organ regeneration and repair.
We use a combination of gene knockouts, transgenic reporter assays, biochemical, computational, and genomic approaches to investigate basic developmental mechanisms. We primarily use the mouse as a model system, but several current projects also use cultured cells or zebrafish as models to understand developmental gene regulation. Current work in the lab is focused primarily on cell autonomous mechanisms underlying gene regulation, tissue specification, organ formation and metabolic control during cardiovascular, craniofacial, and neural crest development.