Skeletal muscle hosts stem cells (called Muscle Stem Cells or MuSCs) that sustain muscle growth, preserve homeostasis, and repair injuries occurring in muscle degenerative disease or trauma. Our laboratory studies how MuSCs acquire their identity during development and how their behavior is regulated during muscle regeneration and aging. We approach these questions by generating, analyzing, and integrating genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic datasets.
Areas of Interest
Specific areas of interest include:
Transcriptional Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Differentiation
Our research considers the biochemical and molecular characterization of individual transcription factors, chromatin regulators, and epigenetic marks during skeletal muscle specification and development. The genetic manipulation of the individual components is obtained by whole-body and conditional gene ablation in developing embryos and adult mice.
Regulatory Circuitry in Skeletal Muscle Cells
We study the integration of signaling pathways and the logics of transcription factors and chromatin regulators. We develop general operating principles and conduct gene network modeling based on genome-wide experimental data.
Regeneration of Adult Skeletal Muscle
Following injury, skeletal muscle vigorously regenerates. We investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration in animals in which individual genetic components have been ablated by homologous recombination.
Metabolic Regulation of Epigenetics
As satellite cells exit from quiescence during muscle regeneration, they are accompanied by changes in their metabolic state. We investigate the molecular connection between metabolism and epigenetic modification of chromatin that accompanies the transition from quiescence to proliferation and differentiation of muscle precursors.
The ultimate goal of our studies is to provide a conceptual and practical framework contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases affecting skeletal muscles.
Former Lab Members
- Jelena Perovanovic, Ph.D. (2016-2019) Computational Biologist, Recursion, Salt Lake City, UT
- Pei-Fang Tsai, Ph.D. (2014-2018) Principal Scientist, Fate Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, CA
- Alessandra Pasut, Ph.D. (2015-2017) Senior Scientist, Center for Cancer Biology, Leuven, Belgium
- Aster H. Juan, Ph.D. (2009-2014), Scientific Review Officer, CSR, NIH
- James G. Ryall, Ph.D. (2009-2014) Chief Scientific Officer, Vow Food, Sydney, Australia
- Stefania Dell’Orso, Ph.D. (2009-2014) Chief, NIAMS Genomic Technology Section
- Miroslav Koulnis, Ph.D. (2011-2013) Scientist, Sony Biotechnology, Boston, MA
- Kambiz Mousavi, Ph.D. (2008-2013) Senior Scientist, Moderna Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA
- Monica Di Padova, Ph.D. (2004-2008) Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L’Aquila, Italy
- Shanil Haugen, Ph.D. (2005-2008) Staff Fellow, US Food and Drug Administration
- Giuseppina Caretti, Ph.D. (2002-2007) Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Milan, Italy
- Gabriella Fiore, Ph.D. (2003-2006) Research Associate, Comparative Genomic Center, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
- R. Louis Schiltz, Ph.D. (2000-2005) Biologist, Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, NCI
- Simona Iezzi, Ph.D. (2000-2004) Staff Scientist, Regina Elena Cancer Center, Rome, Italy
- Frederic Lluís Vinas (2004) Professor, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
- Antonio Costanzo, M.D. (2000) Professor, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy
- Aissah “Mama” Kaba, B.S. (2019-2021) Master of Translational Medicine student, UC Berkeley
- Christopher Lopez, B.S. (2019-2021) MD/Ph.D. Student Stanford University
- Stan Wang, M.D., Ph.D. (2014-2017) CEO, Stealth Cell Therapy, Non-Resident Senior Fellow Council of Strategic Risks
- Karinna Vivanco, B.S. (2015-2017) Graduate Student, UC Berkeley/UCSF Bioengineering Ph.D. Program
- Daphney Clermont, M.D., MPH (2013-2015), Pediatric Resident, Cardinal Glennon Children Hospital, St Louis, MO