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 (drey) and openmind (opm). We use a variety of techniques to characterize the developmental defects in these mutant strains including, embryology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and genetic engineering.