Karenliu:Lab Alumni

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The Liu Lab Department of Craniofacial Biology Kings College London
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Former Post-docs

Dr. Heather Szabo-Rogers Now an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh

Funding: Wellcome Trust
Project: Signal transduction by GSK-3beta in craniofacial development
Summary: Congenital malformations of the craniofacial skeleton are among the most frequent developmental anomalies affecting live births. Common defects can include cleft palate and premature or delayed fusion of cranial sutures (craniosynostosis and cleidocranial dysplasia, respectively). GSK-3β, a kinase implicated in a number of important signaling pathways, is required for proper development of the craniofacial skeleton, including the palate and skull vault. We will use genetic analysis and novel protein regulation techniques to study the roles of GSK-3β in skull formation. Understanding this requirement will shed light on signalling events involved in craniofacial development and thus illuminate the mechanistic causes of these birth defects.

Dr. Lucy Smithers

Funding: BBSRC-Selective Chemical Intervention in Biological Systems
Project: Using chemical tools to study Wnt signalling in neural development
Summary: We are adapting a novel drug-dependent conditional system to the study of Wnt signalling. This project has two goals, first, to provide additional chemical tools for the study of Wnts and second, to use these tools to define the subcellular and temporal requirements of Wnts during patterning of the neurectoderm. We are developing tools in which activation of target proteins will be regulated temporally and spatially using small molecules specifically designed to have minimal off-target effects.

Former Students

Aida Mesbahi MSc Student Project: Requirements for FUZ in palate development

Zenab Sher BMS Student Project: Syndromic tracheal defects

Triona Bolger PhD Student Project: Roles of GSK-3 in neural crest migration and specification

Warda Yakob MSc Student Project: Requirements for GSK-3 in palate development

Chisom Emecheta BSc Student Project: Requirements for GSK-3 in palate development

Siobhan McMahon Summer Student Project: Requirement of Wisp1 in embryonic development

Sara Misra BSc Student Project: Osteoclastic bone resorption is a feature of skull development

Davinderpreet Mangat BSc Student Project: