PositionProfessor of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology/Cell Biology
My laboratory studies the cellular and molecular events underlying the formation, migration, and differentiation of neural crest cells. These multipotent stem cell-like embryonic precursor cells migrate extensively and initiate an amazingly diverse set of derivatives in vertebrate embryos. Neural crest cells are important precursors to the peripheral nervous system, and give rise to a wide variety of neuronal and glial cell types. In addition, neural crest cells form a number of important non-neuronal derivatives including melanocytes, craniofacial bone and cartilage, and smooth muscle. This remarkable diversity makes the neural crest an exciting system in which to investigate the mechanisms which cells use to make decisions about their fate.
Department of Molecular Biosciences