S. Paul Oh, Ph.D.
The long term goal of our laboratory is to contribute to the understanding of genetic and molecular mechanisms for mammalian pattern formation. Our particular research interest lies in the development of the vascular system, the asymmetrical pattern formation of visceral organs along the left-right axis and the vertebral patterning along the anterio-posterior axis during mouse development. We have been demonstrating by gene targeting experiments that Activin receptor-Like Kinase-1 (ALK-1) is important for angiogenesis and blood vessel maturation, and Activin receptor type IIA and IIB are involved in determination of left-right sideness as well as of vertebral segment specification. Further characterization of these mutant mice at the molecular and genetic levels would help us to establish signaling pathways of these receptors and to elucidate their role in embryonic pattern formation. Our studies would provide a basis for etiology of several human diseases such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) and asplenia syndrome.