Gain fundamental insight into basic and biomedical science through the rigorous investigation of the genetic mechanisms regulating organogenesis and disease.
1. Determine how progenitor and stem cells are programmed to differentiate and renew themselves in the context of vertebrate liver and pancreas development, homeostasis, and regeneration, and of human stem cell differentiation. We aim to decipher progenitor biology to the depth that will allow us to genetically and pharmacologically manipulate differentiation in vivo.
2. Establish mechanistic insight into genetic diseases associated with liver or pancreas dysfunction by developing and analyzing more reliable animal disease models that will also be adaptable for in vivo drug testing/discovery.
1. Using a genetically amendable vertebrate model system, the zebrafish, we are currently investigating how transcription and signaling factors regulate progenitors of the pancreas and liver. With insight from these studies and new genetic technologies that we have developed, we are identifying the combination of genes and/or small molecules that can induce new liver and pancreatic tissues through in vivo genetic reprogramming.
2. Generate and analyze human iPSC and zebrafish models of heritable diabetes and use these models to investigate disease mechanisms and test potential drugs.
3. Develop new genetic technologies to more precisely and efficiently manipulate gene function for use in research and therapeutics.
in vivo reprogramming, monogenic/polygenic diabetes, MODY5, GWAS, RCAD, biliary atresia, signal transduction, epigenetics, diseases of the pancreas and liver, in vivo chemical biology/screens, regeneration, animal disease models, precision medicine, pattern formation, lineage specification, regeneration, evolution of endoderm organs …
Why Zebrafish? – The zebrafish is an in vivo model that allows scientists to rapidly, rigorously, and efficiently investigate the impact that genes and chemicals have on vertebrate biology.