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Cancer and Developmental Biology Laboratory

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The interests of the Cancer and Developmental Biology Laboratory (CDBL) are centered on the analysis of embryonic development, particularly the mechanisms of growth control and the regulation of differentiation through growth factors, cytokines, and their receptors.

The study of how embryos grow and develop from the fertilized egg is not only of intrinsic interest but also of relevance to understanding the origins and development of a wide variety of cancers. Many of the cellular processes involved in embryonic development (such as proliferation, adhesion, migration, and differentiation) are mediated by the actions of growth factors and their receptors. In many cancers, these same growth factors and receptors frequently are abnormally expressed or are even mutated to form oncogenes. Understanding the functions of these factors in development will deepen our knowledge of the biology of cancer.

The Laboratory at present consists of four sections. The Differentiation and Neoplasia Section, directed by Dr. Perantoni, is analyzing the functions of inductive cytokines in nephrogenesis and dysregulation of inductive signaling in nephroblastoma/Wilms tumor development. The Developmental Biology Unit, headed by Dr. Mackem, focuses on signaling through the hedgehog pathway using limb development/digit formation as a model system. The Genetics of Vertebrate Development, headed by Dr. Lewandoski is studying the functions of growth factors during development in the outgrowth and patterning of the limb and the anterior/posterior axis during somitogenesis, and the Cell Signaling in Vertebrate Development Section, headed by Dr. Yamaguchi, is analyzing the functions of the Wnt family of genes in development and their dysregulation in cancer

This page was last updated on 1/27/2010.