My project in the lab is to understand the developmental origin of craniofacial muscles especially muscles of mastication, deglutition and peristalsis viz. muscles of the esophagus. We discovered that the Esophagus Striated Muscles (ESM) are not derived from somites as generally thought, but are of cranial mesoderm origin. We identified Tbx1 and Isl1 as the key regulators of ESM which is a novel third derivative of the cardiopharyngeal mesoderm that also contributes to head muscles and derivatives of the second heart field.
2015A Cranial Mesoderm Origin for Esophagus Striated Muscles, Dev. Cell 2015 Sep;34(6):694-704.
2014Variations in the efficiency of lineage marking and ablation confound distinctions between myogenic cell populations, Dev. Cell 2014 Dec;31(5):654-67.
2012Cell-autonomous Notch activity maintains the temporal specification potential of skeletal muscle stem cells, Development 2012 Dec;139(24):4536-48.