Research Interests: Genetics and development of birth defects in mouse models.
I work on birth defects in mice as models for human birth defects. In particular, I am interested in the mouse models for the common human birth defects, neural tube defects and cleft lip (with or without cleft palate). I collaborate with D.M. Juriloff in the study of two mouse models, the SELH/Bc model for anencephaly and the A/WySn model for cleft lip. These two traits are genetically complex both in humans and in these mouse models. We use a wide range of approaches and techniques in genetics, molecular biology, and embryology to determine the number of loci involved in susceptibility, to map and identify the major genes, and to pinpoint the first developmental steps that go wrong. We also study the effects of maternal genotype and maternal diet on risk, towards understanding the mechanisms of prevention of these birth defects.