Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology
679 Hoes Lane, Room 325
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Molecular genetic control of vertebrate CNS development
Previous work in my lab showed that the Gli family of proteins are required mediators of Hh signaling in the developing spinal cord, and function by activating the expression of specific sets of target genes in undifferentiated, multi-potent neural and glial progenitor cells, directing them toward specific fates. Our current research is focused on elaborating the transcriptional mechanisms that function downstream of Hh-Gli signaling to regulate the differential response of cells to this extracellular morphogen. We are also interested in understanding how inputs from other DNA binding proteins are integrated at the transcriptional level to control this process. Another interest in our lab is in uncovering the molecular mechanisms regulating the response of adult spinal cord stem cells to injury.
Our approach to these questions involves a combination of in vivo methods in transgenic mice, embryonic chickens, and adult mouse spinal cord injury models. We also employ various molecular biology techniques including PCR, molecular cloning and mutagenesis, analysis of endogenous gene and protein expression, conditional mutagenesis.