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The heart is one of the first organs to develop in the embryo and it requires the coordinated differentiation of multiple cell types for proper function. Disruptions to this fundamental process can lead to structural heart defects found at birth or congenital heart disease (CHD).  Approximately 40,000 babies are born each year in the US with CHD. While it's thought to be at least partially genetic, a defined genetic etiology is often elusive.    

 

Our goal is to identify the complex genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in cardiovascular development and to apply this knowledge to learn how their perturbation can lead to disease. Ultimately, by illuminating basic principles that govern cardiovascular development, we hope our research contributes to making personalized medicine a reality for those that suffer from CHD and associated comorbidities, such as autism.   

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