Research in my laboratory is focused on the mechanisms that maintain muscle cell membrane integrity and development of therapeutic strategies to treat muscular dystrophy. Alterations in the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex cause several forms of muscular dystrophy, including those with abnormal central nervous system development and function. We are investigating the structure and function of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle as well as non-muscle tissues including brain and peripheral nerve.
In particular, we are interested in the following projects:
Muscular dystrophy research my lab utilizes a variety of biochemical tools and modern genetic approaches, including human patient samples, spontaneous mutant or gene targeted mice, viral gene transfer and stem cell therapy. These approaches are geared at understanding disease mechanisms and forming the basis of therapeutic studies. We have also uncovered a pathway for muscle membrane repair that is responsible for at least two different forms muscular dystrophy not associated with the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Current investigations include: