We study the cellular and molecular mechanisms subtending specification, differentiation, and regeneration of skeletal muscle cells. We pursue these studies by combining cellular and molecular biological approaches, genomic and proteomic-based systems-biology, bioinformatics, and animal models.
Specific areas of interest include:
Transcriptional Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Differentiation
Biochemical and molecular characterization of individual transcription factors, chromatin regulators, and epigenetic marks during skeletal muscle specification and development. Genetic manipulation of the individual components is obtained by whole-body and conditional gene ablation in developing embryos and adult mice.
Regulatory Circuitry in Skeletal Muscle Cells
Integration of signaling pathways and logics of transcription factors and chromatin regulators. General operating principles and gene network modeling are developed based on genome-wide experimental data.
Regeneration of Adult Skeletal Muscle
Following injury, skeletal muscle vigorously regenerates. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration are investigated in animals in which individual genetic components have been ablated by homologous recombination.
Metabolic Role of Skeletal Muscle
Skeletal muscle is responsible for insulin-mediated glucose uptake. The role of skeletal muscle in mediating the metabolic effects of hypercaloric diet and calorie-restriction is investigated.
Objectives: The ultimate goal of our studies is to provide a conceptual and practical framework contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases affecting skeletal muscles.