Research/Areas of Interest: Molecular Development (Organogenesis: Development, Remodeling, Regeneration)

Education

  • PhD., Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst Center, United States, 1996
  • BA, Biology (Chemistry minor), Wheaton College, Norton, United States, 1990

Biography

The primary objective of our research is to understand how functional organs are created. During development cells are constantly bombarded with signals from neighboring cells (i.e. growth factors) and from their local environment (i.e. temperature, pH). Upon receiving these cues, cells must properly interpret these signals and subsequently respond in an appropriate manner. Although many of the mysteries of biology have been revealed over the years, we still lack a thorough understanding of the cellular language (molecular mechanisms) used by organisms to create and pattern tissues and organs. My laboratory three distinct processes to gain a more complete understanding of how organs are created including: (1) organ development and patterning — role of the Notch signaling pathway during nephrogenesis (kidney development) and cardiogenesis (heart development) (2) organ remodeling — induction of precocious metamorphosis after exposure to herbicide, and (3) organ regeneration — repair of injured nephric tissues via regenerative processes.

The results of our investigations will contribute to the understanding of proliferative and degenerative kidney diseases, and the possibility of harnessing the regenerative capabilities of nephric tissues as part of future therapeutic interventions. Consequently, the basic scientific studies of today hold great promise in many areas of human adult and child health, where the discoveries of today develop into the treatments of tomorrow.

"Our real teacher has been and still is the embryo, who is, incidentally, the only teacher who is always right." - V. Hamburger (1900-2001)