Research Interests

My primary research interest is in the molecular mechanisms that control cell destiny during development. To approach this problem my laboratory has studied muscle cells and has discovered a series of developmental control genes that govern muscle cell identity and differentiation. Because the basic mechanisms for muscle development are evolutionarily conserved, it has been possible to use the fruit fly as a simple model system to learn about more complex developmental control mechanisms in mammals. It has recently become clear that many of the gene regulatory proteins and signaling molecules that control cardiac muscle development are also important for remodeling the adult heart during pathologic cardiac enlargement and heart failure. Thus, deciphering the molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiac development and gene expression in model organisms has yielded insights into the molecular bases for congenital and acquired heart disease in humans and is opening opportunities for genetic and pharmacologic modification of cardiac form and function.

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Primary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology

Secondary Section

Section 21: Biochemistry