North Carolina State University
The Nascone-Yoder laboratory is investigating the embryonic development of the gastrointestinal tract in order to understand the etiology of intestinal malrotation and associated congenital malformations of the digestive organs. Intestinal malrotation occurs in as many as 1 in 500 human births (0.2% of the population) and poses significant risk for life-threatening complications in babies and children. No clear inheritance pattern has been identified for intestinal malrotation, suggesting a multifactorial etiology involving genetic, epigenetic and/or environmental causes.
Normal digestive anatomy is a consequence of the dramatic elongation, looping and rotation of the primitive gut tube during fetal development, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these events in gut morphogenesis are poorly understood. Dr. Nascone-Yoder’s lab employs gene expression profiling and toxicant screens in amphibian embryos to illuminate the developmental mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal digestive tract morphogenesis, and identify the potential genetic basis of human digestive organ birth defects.