Amy E. Merrill

PIBBS MENTOR

Assistant Professor

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Keck School of Medicine
Institute for Genetic Medicine
Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology
Ostrow School of Dentistry

Research Topics

  • Developmental Biology
  • Human/Mammalian Genetics
  • Skeletal Birth Defects
  • Cell Growth & Proliferation

Research Images

Research Overview

The skulls of vertebrates are wildly diverse in form, yet function alike to shelter the brain, equip the feeding apparatus, and intercept sensory stimuli. During embryonic development the craniofacial complex is patterned by a series of spatiotemporal signals that organize bone precursors into skeletal elements with the proper shape and integration. Inherited human conditions that interrupt this process cause devastating birth defects. By merging techniques in human genetics and developmental biology, my lab is taking a unique approach to uncover the mechanisms of craniofacial malformations. The goal of our research is to reveal the root of these anomalies and aid the advancement of novel molecular-based therapies.