My lab studies the mechanisms controlling vertebrate limb development and the origins and pathology of diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. Congenital limb abnormalities are the second most common live birth defect and diseases that disrupt musculoskeletal system function place a significant burden on affected individuals and healthcare systems. We are combining approaches that use animal models with analysis of human tissue samples.
Our work focuses on two fundamental events: the early signals that recruit the initial cohort of limb bud progenitors and later morphogenesis events that organise these progenitor cells into mature limb tissues, with a particular focus on muscle and bone. We are interested in understanding how disruption of these events can explain the aetiology and pathology of certain congenital limb abnormalities and diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. We are also trying to harness our knowledge of how tissues are constructed and maintained for regenerative strategies.