Research Interests

01. Hox regulatory networks and neuronal diversity. Our studies in chick and mouse embryos have provided evidence that Hox factors regulate the expression of genes selectively expressed by different motor neuron subtypes. Using genetic and biochemical approaches were are further exploring the mechanisms by which Hox proteins contribute to the diversification of motor neuron subtypes. More...

02. Hox factors in the control of neuronal connectivity. Hox proteins appear to determine the selectivity of connections between motor neurons in the spinal cord and muscle targets in the limb, yet the mechanisms that determine this specificity are not known. One objective of our research is to elucidate the pathways downstream of Hox proteins that determine the guidance of motor axons to their targets. More...

03. Hox genes and circuit assembly in the spinal cord. In addition to motor neurons, Hox protein expression localizes to the two other major classes of neurons in the spinal cord - sensory neurons and interneurons. A future goal of our lab will be to further explore whether Hox proteins contribute to specificity of connections between motor neurons, sensory neurons, and interneurons. More...


Retrograde labeling of motor neurons after tracer injection into muscle.

Pattern of motor axon innervation at thoracic levels of the spinal cord.

Expression of Hox proteins in chick spinal cord

Expression of homeodomain proteins in chick spinal cord.