U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Genetics of Development and Disease Branch

Richard L. Proia, Ph.D., Chief

​About the Lab/Branch

The Genetics of Development and Disease Branch (GDDB) seeks to understand the function of diverse signaling pathways, mediated by genes, proteins and lipids, that determine how cell behavior is governed. When these pathways are disturbed, human diseases can result. Our work is aimed at identifying the altered pathways in human disease in order to rationally develop new therapeutic approaches. Our scope includes processes affecting diabetes, metabolism, obesity, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

​Current Research

Principal investigators in the branch currently study:

  • sphingolipids, lipid molecules that form cell membranes and transmit signals to cells; and which are relevant to human diseases.
  • pathways controlling the development of fat cells and their biology. pathways specifying mammalian development and tumorigenesis.

The goal of this research is to gain fundamental knowledge about important biological processes that will help us understand the basis of human diseases.

This research will lead to the development of new therapies for human diseases.​​​