Our research is focused on embryonic skin and skull bone development and spans the developmental period of cell fate selection through the patterning of skin. Skin is composed of the overlying epidermis and the underlying dermis. There is relatively little known about the genetic and cellular events that lead to the acquisition of dermal identity. The dermis orginates from different progenitor populations. Our goal is to identify the genetic pathways that confer dermal cell identity which subsequently drives the development of the various skin appendages and the patterning of the skin. We are currently using transgenic mice to address questions of skin cell specification, fate, and patterning. These are fundamental biological problems with implications for development in general, and for our understanding of skin related diseases.
Role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in cranial bone and dermal development.
Identifying function of downstream targets of Wnt signaling in dermis.
Identifying the mechanism of beta-catenin in dermal fibrosis