What patients and families need to know
The Children's National Research Institute
Irene Zohn, Ph.D., Laboratory
Neural tube formation
Our goal is to understand the genes and signal transduction pathways required for morphogenesis of the vertebrate embryo. We use a forward genetic approach in the mouse model to identify novel genes required for two early morphogenic events: gastrulation and neural tube closure. From this screen we have identified a number of mouse model mutants. The current focus of our lab is on the characterization of the genetic and developmental defects in two ENU-derived mutant mouse lines that display defects in gastrulation and neural tube closure: droopy eye and open mind. We use a variety of techniques to characterize the developmental defects in these mutant strains including, embryology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and genetic engineering.