My research focuses on the genetic and molecular factors that regulate skeletal and cardiac muscle development. My lab utilizes embryonic zebrafish, which are small vertebrates that develop completely externally and are clear during their early stages of development, making them ideal model organisms for the study of developmental biology. I previously identified a new family of three genes in mice that share a common Domain of Unknown Function. This family of genes is expressed almost exclusively in skeletal and cardiac muscle both during embryonic development and in adult mice. Knockout models for these genes revealed that they play a critical role in muscle maintenance and homeostasis. Students in my lab will investigate the expression and function of the orthologous genes in embryonic zebrafish using a variety of genetic and molecular biology techniques including in situ hybridization, RT-qPCR, CRISPR/Cas9, and immunostaining. Training will be provided in both zebrafish husbandry as well as cell culture.