This is a developmental biology lab that studies disorders of sex development in embryos. Congenital malformations of external genitalia are among the most common birth defects; approximately 1:125 male babies have penile anomalies, ranging from hypospadias to ambiguous genitalia. The causes of these anomalies are largely unknown. Our research investigates the basis of these birth defects by studying the mechanisms of genitalia development in mammalian embryos. We have 2 projects with an opening for an undergraduate researcher. Project 1 applies novel molecular genetic and imaging techniques to mouse models of human syndromes that disrupt genital development. Project 2 investigates genetic and environmental causes of sex differences by examining gene expression from the organismal to the single cell levels. Students will be trained in a range of techniques and will be mentored to develop independent projects. Our students have an excellent track record of earning authorship on peer-reviewed publications.
Additional Requirements: Available to freshmen and sophomores