Institution: University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Voice: (919) 966-3208
Research in my laboratory is directed toward achieving a better understanding of the mechanisms and pathogenesis associated with a variety of environmentally induced or genetically based birth defects. This information is then applied to development of preventative/ameliorative measures relative to these defects. Our interest in modeling human genetic malformation syndromes and opportunities for collaborative efforts with molecular geneticists who have produced transgenic mice and mice with targeted gene modification have proven productive in our attempt to better understand the developmental basis for a variety of malformations of the brain including anencephaly, holoprosencephaly, and hydrocephaly. Regarding teratogen-induced birth defects, our major emphasis is on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Currently, high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is being utilized to identify, characterize, and correlate the craniofacial, ocular, otic and CNS dysmorphology that results from prenatal ethanol exposure at specific stages of embryogenesis. These studies are designed to inform human clinical research and to expand the diagnostic criteria for prenatal alcohol exposure.