Douglas J. Epstein, Ph.D.

Title
Associate Professor
Department
Department of Genetics
Institution
University of Pennsylvania
Address
463 Clinical Research Building
415 Curie Boulevard
City, State, Zip
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone
(215) 573-4810
E-mail
epsteind[at]mail.med.upenn.edu
Website
http://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g306/p18778
Research Field
Developmental Biology
Award Year
2001

Research

The secreted protein, Sonic hedgehog (Shh), plays an integral role in forming the ventral midline of the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). In the absence of Shh function, ventral midline development is perturbed resulting in holoprosencephaly (HPE), a structural malformation of the brain, as well as neuronal patterning and path finding defects. Central to the understanding of ventral neural tube development is how Shh transcription is regulated in the CNS. Research in my laboratory employs genetic, genomic and biochemical approaches to uncover the cis and trans acting determinants of Shh expression in the mouse CNS. An understanding of how Shh expression is initiated in the ventral forebrain may provide insight into additional causes of holoprosencephaly.