Explore Research Innovation at the David Geffen School of Medicine
Our laboratory studies the molecular basis of the skeletal dysplasias, inherited human disorders that affect skeletal development, growth, and maintenance. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the genes and gene products that participate in the development of the skeleton and that ultimately determine the shapes of the bones, the height an individual achieves, and the stability of the skeleton. A major step toward achieving our goals is genomic analysis in skeletal dysplasia families to identify the gene associated with each of the over 450 different skeletal dysplasias. For disorders in which the defective gene is known, a combination of mutation analysis and biosynthetic studies is used to understand the mechanisms by which the mutations arise, the inheritance pattern of each disorder, and the effect of each mutation of the synthesis, structure, and function of the encoded protein. These goals are augmented by studies in model organisms, particularly mice, which include mechanistic studies and the development of therapies to ameliorate or cure these disorders.