We study craniofacial development and the genetic causes of craniofacial birth defects.

Our goal is to determine the role of the transcription factor SIX1 and SIX1-associated genes in development of the cranial bones, jaws and ear using transgenic mice and Xenopus (frog).

Our overarching goal is to help patients and their families understand the genetic causes of SIX1-related birth defects (e.g., branchio-oto-renal syndrome, craniosynostosis), and to develop preventive and corrective strategies.

We are now looking for students, staff scientist (limited term researcher) and a postdoc! (look here)

Current Projects

1. Six1 role during skull bone and suture development and disease

We are analyzing the role of Six1 and Six1-associated genes in development of the mouse cranial bones and sutures, to determine the link between Six1 and the pathogenesis of premature suture closure (craniosynostosis).

2. Six1 co-factors function during development of the jaws and ear

We want to uncover the function of Six1-associated genes (co-factors) during development of the craniofacial cartilages and inner ear in Xenopus (frog). We will also be dissecting the role of Six1 co-factors during development of the jaws and middle ear in mouse.

3. Six1 and co-factors role during tooth development

Here we will determine the function of Six1 and Six1 co-factors during incisor development in mouse.