Identifying and understanding the genetic regulators of cardiac development (2012–2014)
The heart is essential for our survival and defects affecting cardiac function can result in death or debilitation. The creation of the heart involves finely regulated and rapidly executed steps, which we are still unraveling. The project will study a collection of unique mutants with cardiac defects and aims to identify the genes responsible for the defects. A novel regulator of cardiac development was recently discovered using this approach. This new regulator will also be studied to understand its function in heart formation. Outcomes of this project will illuminate how organs develop, suggest novel modes of stem cell programming and inform congenital and acquired heart disease with a view to improve diagnostics and therapeutics.