Assistant Professor, Department of Human Genetics
Dr. Colin Crist studies molecular mechanisms governing skeletal muscle stem cell activity.
His current focus is on the role of microRNAs and cytoplasmic mRNP granules in maintaining tissue identity in a tissue specific stem cells that respond to cues to regenerate.
Skeletal muscle has a remarkable muscle stem cell dependent capacity for regeneration. Nevertheless, multiple disorders of skeletal muscle, including the family of muscular dystrophies and muscle wasting associated with aging and cancer, represent a major burden on health care systems worldwide. The development of stem cell based regenerative therapies for muscle disease has and will continue to rely heavily on knowledge about embryonic myogenesis and adult regeneration of muscle. We are addressing these challenges using techniques in molecular biology and genetics toinvestigate the molecular mechanisms regulating MuSC activity. We currently focus on translational control of MuSCs and myogenic progenitors. The major research themes of our laboratory are as follows:
4. Genetic regulators of myogenesis. We are using multiple approaches to identify cofactors that facilitate the activity of transcription factors within the contexts of muscle development and disease.