Francesca Gori, Ph.D.
|Title||Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity|
|Institution||Harvard School of Dental Medicine|
|Department||Oral Med - Infection + Immunity|
|Address||Harvard School of Dental Medicine|
Oral Medicine, Infection & Immunity
188 Longwood Ave
Boston MA 02115
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||Sanchez Foundation Award for Young Investigators|
||Harold Frost Young Investigator Award|
||John Haddad Young Investigator Award|
I have a longstanding interest in studying the cellular and molecular pathways underlying cell fate and differentiation. I identified a novel gene, Wdr5, which has a crucial role in chondrocyte and osteoblasts differentiation. Wdr5 is a BMP-2 regulated gene and is a critical component of a complex required for chromatin modifications associated with activation of gene expression. Since then my research has been focused to investigate the role of Wdr5 in bone biology using genetically manipulated mice, osteoblastic and chondrocytic cell lines as well as chicken embryos.
My research has been focused on investigating: 1) the role of Wdr5 in skeletal development and 2) the role of Wdr5 in the epigenetic regulation of osteoblastogenesis.
Our studies indicate that Wdr5 is expressed in developing chondrocytes and osteoblasts and plays a critical role in endochondral and intramembranous ossification. Generation of conditionally knockout mice, to ablate Wdr5 in progenitors cells is underway to further investigate the role of this gene in skeletal development. Wdr5 is a component of a histone lysine methyltransferase complex required for Histone 3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3), a histone modification associated with activation of transcription.
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