study vertebrate development, using frog and zebrafish embryos,
since they are amenable to genetic, molecular and live imaging
focus of our research is on craniofacial development. In particular,
we study signaling pathways that regulate formation
of the primary mouth, the critical first opening between the
gut and the outside of the embryo.
second broad focus is on formation of three-dimensional structure
in the brain, including
the brain ventricular system, an important circulatory system
within the brain; and the “great bends” that
pack the brain into the skull.
third focus is on use of the zebrafish as a tool to understand
human mental health disorders. We are
analyzing genes associated with schizophrenia, and the
human 16p11.2 interval, associated with autism.