Systems analysis of a critical regulatory hub in sex determination (2016–2018)
A key challenge in biology is to understand how genes act in regulatory networks to co-ordinate the formation of complex organs during embryo development. Although several genes influence embryo sex determination and gonad development, Sox9 has emerged as a master regulator in this system. This project uses powerful new systems biology technologies, and a novel line of transgenic mice, to identify the suite of Sox9 target genes and partner proteins. Anticipated outcomes include new insights into sex determination, stem cell differentiation, and development of many other organ systems that depend on Sox9 function, providing proof-of-concept for high-throughput analysis of molecular control networks in the embryo.