Summary: Our research focuses on understanding musculoskeletal development, regeneration and disease using zebrafish as a model organism. One area of focus is on developing models for rare genetic diseases of the musculoskeletal system using current genome editing techniques.  These models serve two purposes: 1) investigating mechanisms involved in development of the disease; and, 2) investigating how the individual gene contributes to normal development.

Minimum classes: Genetics, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology (preferred)

Projects: A summer research project will involve investigating genomic sequences involved in musculoskeletal development using bioinformatics approaches. The information collected here will be applied to design tools to edit the genomic sequence in zebrafish using cloning and PCR techniques.  These tools will be injected into developing zebrafish at the 1-cell stage and the efficiency of the modification to the gene evaluated by isolation of genomic DNA and sequencing.

A second research project will involve identifying relevant genes involved in musculoskeletal development and disease. The gene product will be investigated by generating RNA hybridization probes for in-situ hybridization by cloning and in Vitro RNA transcription. The temporal and spatial expression pattern of the RNA transcript will be determined during the progression of development and compared to models with genetic defects.

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