UCSF School of Medicine
Department of Anatomy
Institute of Human Genetics
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine & Stem Cell Research
Genetic and regulatory control of morphogenesis in embryonic development, evolution, and disease
The laboratory studies the genetic and regulatory basis of how elaborately patterned tissues form during embryonic development and evolution. The laboratory combines different genetic approaches, using the mouse as a model, to understand the mechanisms underpinning basic developmental processes related to cranial and appendicular morphogenesis. They discovered that homeodomain-containing transcription factors of the Pbx family, also known as Hox-cofactors, are critical developmental regulators through the transcriptional control of target genes within tissue-specific regulatory networks. The lab uses genetically-engineered and ethylnitrosourea (ENU)-mutagenized mouse lines. Recently they utilize additional animal models, such as jerboas and primates, with the ultimate goal to identify novel genes and regulatory networks underlying morphogenesis of embryonic structures, morphological variation, and evolution. Focus is also given to how perturbation of these regulatory networks can result in human congenital disease.