College of Arts and Science
PhD, 1992 Rutgers University
Generation and characterization of animal models to study genetics and disease
Our laboratory takes a comparative medicine approach to studying human disorders by using a variety of animal models of disease. The current emphasis in the lab is on the study of polycystic kidney disease, hereditary deafness, and inflammatory bowel disease. Using both rodent and zebrafish models, we are interested in characterizing disease-causing genes and their protein products in order to elucidate the molecular pathways in which these genes/proteins participate. This knowledge will allow a better understanding of both normal and abnormal development and may ultimately lead to targeted therapeutics.
Additionally, we are interested in the generation and characterization of new animal models. Our lab has been involved in efforts to characterize rat embryonic stem cells (ESCs), isolate new rat ESC lines, create and validate a novel rat and zebrafish cell ablation model system and use evolving technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 to create new genetically engineered rat models. We are currently studying the role of the microbiome on animal model phenotypes, including its effect in zebrafish models of stress and anxiety.