Education & Training
Research Associate, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute (lab of Kat Hadjantonakis)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute (lab of Kat Hadjantonakis)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (lab of Bernice Morrow)
Graduate studies, University of Karlsruhe, Germany and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York (lab of Dr Bernice Morrow)
Thesis title: “Genetic interaction of Tbx1 and Pitx2 is required for early heart development”
Undergraduate studies in English, Spanish, French and Italian at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Research Student, Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Germany (lab of Martin Blum)
MSc degree, University of Karlsruhe, Germany (lab of Dr Martin Blum)
Thesis title: “Expression of the homeobox gene Pitx2 during mouse embryogenesis”
Undergraduate studies in biology, University of Karlsruhe, Germany
My research interests center on investigating tissue morphogenesis and patterning in the mouse embryo around the time of gastrulation with the aim of providing a blueprint for understanding analogous events in human embryonic development. My work focuses on elucidating the role of T-box transcription factors and their co-factors and targets in regulating cell states and cell behavior.
In humans, mutations in T-box genes are responsible for developmental dysmorphic syndromes, and several T-box factors have been implicated in the genesis and progression of cancer.
As a graduate student my work focused on the role of Tbx1, a gene implicated in the etiology of DiGeorge syndrome in humans, in cardiovascular development and function in a mouse model. My ongoing studies focus on the roles Eomesodermin (Eomes) and Tbx6, two T-box factors that are critical for the specification of two distinct cell lineages: the embryonic visceral endoderm in the pre-gastrula stage embryo, and the presomitic mesoderm at gastrulation.
I recently demonstrated that Eomes is essential for anterior-posterior axis specification and for anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) recruitment, while Tbx6 is necessary for the specification of the presomitic mesoderm, the tissue progenitor of the vertebral column, and the axial skeletal muscles.
An open question concerns how T-box factors operate at a molecular level to direct cell behavior and cell fate. To gain further insight into the functions of Eomes and Tbx6, I am elucidating the gene regulatory networks in which these factors operate, as well as their interactomes.