My interests are in understanding the mechanisms by which the early embryo and nervous system develop. As an academic Neonatologist with a doctorate in Neurobiology, I provide intensive care for our most fragile children in the Comer Children's NICU as well as have an active research group and laboratory as part of the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior.
Development throughout embryogenesis and fetal life is accomplished through an array of complex morphogenetic programs. It is the coordinated action of these programs that results in the formation of discrete tissues and organs from unspecified populations of progenitor cells. Despite our numerous advances in understanding early embryonic and fetal life, a more thorough understanding of the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms involved is essential in the diagnosis and eventual treatment of complex congenital disorders.
Our research program focuses upon the mechanisms that embryologic cell populations employ to pattern and instruct their environment. The experimental paradigms of my work employ classical embryological approaches combined with evolving genetic manipulations to interrogate cell signaling and patterning in real time and at high resolution with advanced imaging techniques.