Our laboratory studies the mechanisms underlying heart and skeletal muscle diseases, with a primary focus on the role of RNA-binding proteins in regulating the expression of pathologic genes during stress challenges.
One line of work is focused at understanding the function of BEX family proteins. We found that inhibition of BEX1 is protective for the heart and we are now examining the molecular pathways controlled by BEX1, as well as the contribution of novel BEX proteins to cardiac and skeletal muscle pathologies.
A second line of work focuses at understanding the contribution of messenger RNA (mRNA) methylation to muscle diseases. By generating mouse models with affected levels of mRNA methylation we are exploring this uncharacterized phenomenon in cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy.
Finally, a third line of work aims at discovering novel aspects of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) biology and how previously unrecognized molecular interactions underlie CTGF function in regulating tissue fibrosis and inflammation.