My research is focused on the functions of nuclear receptors. This family of receptors control cellular responses via the regulation of gene expression. Nuclear receptors are ligand-dependent receptors and include receptors for many types of hormonal ligands, such as thyroid hormone and steroid hormones, and related ligands such as retinoic acid. These receptors mediate important functions in many tissues. We use molecular biology and genetic analysis to gain an understanding of how these receptors regulate development of different tissues. In the sensory nervous system, we find that nuclear receptors mediate critical functions in the devleopment of the auditory and visual systems.
A crucial question concerns the identification of the downstream target genes that are regulated by nuclear receptors in different developmental processes. This will allow further studies to reveal the regulatory mechanisms of these receptors and the involvement of associated transcriptional cofactors. The identification and analysis of these target genes should provide key insight that will help us understand how a nuclear receptor controls development.