Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch (DBSVB)

Image of an embryoOverview/Mission

The branch's mission is to develop a comprehensive national program for supporting research and training focused on understanding the biological processes that control normal embryonic development, as well as the mechanisms that underlie molecular susceptibility and etiology of structural birth defects. Major program areas for the branch include developmental genetics, systems developmental biology, early embryonic development and differentiation, biophysics/biomechanics of development, developmental neurobiology and neural crest differentiation, organogenesis, regeneration and regenerative medicine, stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, and structural birth defects.

Research projects supported by the branch are primarily basic science in nature and use a variety of animal models, with a priority of elucidating the biochemical, molecular, genetic, and cellular mechanisms of embryonic development and an ultimate goal of understanding the causes of structural birth defects. Efforts to foster interactions between basic scientists and clinicians with common interests in structural birth defects are particularly important to the branch.