A major focus of the branch's research lies in understanding how disruptions in signaling pathways and transcription factors contribute to disease. Our investigators use genetics and genomic approaches in both human and mouse systems to identify and better understand pathways involved in human genetic diseases and normal development. Model systems, including genetically altered mice and in vitro cell and organ culture systems, are major components of these investigations. Ongoing efforts include research aimed at understanding genetic contributions to a number of human diseases, particularly those affecting the nervous, immune and musculoskeletal systems. As a major emphasis of their work, our investigators use genetic and genomic tools to understand normal development and differentiation.