The Section of Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado is committed to research that improves child health. Specifically, we have five main objectives:

  • Understand the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms that guide normal development
  • Determine how normal developmental processes are altered to result in developmental disease and disability
  • Identify new diagnostic strategies and molecular and cellular therapies targeted at treatment of childhood disease
  • Train the next generation of leaders in developmental and stem cell biology and pediatric disease research
  • Serve as a hub for basic and translational child health research that spans the Anschutz Medical Campus research community

To accomplish these objectives the faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral trainees and research staff who comprise the Section of Developmental Biology perform research using stem cell, organoid and animal experimental models, including Drosophila, zebrafish and mice. Our investigations focus on several major tissue and organ systems such as the brain, heart, intestine, face and vascular, olfactory and immune systems. Our work is leading to a better understanding of childhood disabilities associated with neuropsychiatric disease, Down syndrome, the congenital basis of cardiovascular and facial malformations and the impact of maternal health on fetal development.

Microglia phagocytose myelin sheaths to modify developmental myelination

Alexandria N. Hughes, Bruce Appel

Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have identified how specific brain cells interacting during development could be related to neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, including some that occur later in life. Brain function depends on the precise formation of millions of connections between specific brain cell types, including neurons and glial cells.

July 6, 2020