Lab projects

We study birth defects and regeneration

Organogenesis is regulated by several inductive factors such as Wnts. Incorrect activity and timing of these signaling pathways during early development frequently result in embryonic death or severe birth defects. We are investigating the mechanism and prevention of birth defects using Wnt signaling mutants as the research model. We are also investigating the role of Wnt signaling in stem cell/progenitor renewal and regeneration processes to enhance their therapeutic potential.

* From the aspect of congenital disease, we are investigating the mechanism and prevention of birth defects related to tissue growth and fusion processes in Wnt signaling mutant animal models, which include:
craniofacial anomalies, such as cleft lip/palate (CLP; disrupted tissue growth and fusion in the lip or palate);
neural tube defects (NTDs), such as anencephaly (no brain), exencephaly (open skull/brain), and spina bifida (disrupted tissue fusion in the caudal neuropore);
ocular birth defects, such as anophthalmia (no eye), microphthalmia (small eye), and coloboma (disrupted tissue growth and fusion in the ventral eye and optic fissure);
and other related pathological conditions.

* From the aspect of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, we are addressing the role of
Wnt signaling in
neural stem cells, neural crest cells, glial cells, central and peripheral neural development and regeneration.