The mission of the Genomics and Basic Mechanisms of Growth and Development (GBMGD) group is to do basic research into the molecular mechanisms of fundamental processes ubiquitous to all cells. Such research inevitably results in new knowledge that impacts understanding of both health and disease. The members of the GBMGD group have a strong history of producing knowledge-changing advances in a number of fundamental processes that are essential to life; DNA replication, DNA repair, nucleotide metabolism, RNA biogenesis and metabolism, chromatin-mediated control of gene expression, and genome integrity. Simply put, the GBMGD is a unique group of world experts in processes involving DNA and RNA metabolism and the consequences of alterations of these processes to cells and organisms. Recent advances from work by GBMGD members, as well as others, has revealed that although these processes are fundamental and ubiquitous, defects in them are often manifested as specific health disorders with distinctive phenotypes affecting human development and with surprising tissue-specificity, or in cancer. Indeed, a substantial number of the most common clinically relevant genetic disorders affecting children are due to polymorphisms/mutations in factors required for the maintenance of basal cellular functions. Inherent to the GBMGD mission is to increase understanding of how natural genetic diversity in the human population contributes to these fundamental processes in ways that affect health and disease, and to apply such knowledge so that specific strategies toward improving health can be developed.
The vision of the GBMGD group is to elucidate new knowledge about fundamental processes that will promote discovery of novel strategies for treatment and prevention alternatives across a multitude of diseases that share involvement of altered nucleic acid metabolism, gene expression and genome integrity. Through basic research that incorporates modern advances in biochemistry, genetics and genomics, GBMGD group members will continue to generate new knowledge relevant to the fundamental processes essential to growth, development and health.
The GBMGD group vision includes the promotion of collaborations and communication that support its mission. This group has the ability to discover fundamental aspects of growth and development from multifaceted perspectives and disciplines, and to investigate how disturbances in one process can affect another. Because our interests are not principally focused on any particular disorder or discipline, they extend beyond classical developmental biology and the gene pattern-specific expression aspects of animal development. By focusing on basal cellular functions, the GBMGD approach provides unique and complimentary perspectives on developmental biology and growth in health and disease states. Given the NIH’s tolerance to high-risk endeavors not usually fostered elsewhere, the GBMGD group, and the many collaborations among its members, fosters a greater depth and breadth of fundamental discovery than would exist in its absence.
Labs within this group include (alphabetically):