Krauss Lab

Krauss Lab

Krauss Lab

Krauss Lab

Krauss Lab


The Krauss lab is interested in how cell-cell adhesion and signal transduction pathways interact to regulate cell fate during embryonic developmental and adult tissue regeneration. We use a wide combination of approaches to gain insight into how genes and the environment interact in causation of common birth defects, and how adult stem cells are called into action to repair injury to tissues.

Robert S Krauss, PhD
Professor, Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology

Current Projects

The skeletal muscle stem cell niche

Satellite cells (SCs) are adult skeletal muscle stem cells located between the myofiber and its surrounding basal lamina. They are the source of skeletal muscle’s remarkable regenerative properties. SCs exist in a quiescent state in adult mice. However, upon muscle injury they are activated to proliferate and produce the myoblasts that will ultimately differentiate to form new myofibers; they also self-renew to replenish the muscle stem cell compartment. Quiescence is promoted by the SC niche, including the myofiber itself. Using a combination of conditional mouse mutants and cell biological analyses, we have shown that classical cadherins are components of the niche, required cell-autonomously by both the fiber and SC. Our current studies focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of how SCs and myofibers interact, how quiescence is maintained, and how niche perturbation promotes the quiescence-to-activation transition in SCs.

Modeling holoprosencephaly in the mouse

Holoprosencephaly (HPE) is a common developmental defect caused by failure to define the midline of the forebrain and/or midface. HPE is associated with heterozygous mutations in Nodal, Hedgehog (HH), and other pathways, but clinical presentation is highly variable, and many mutation carriers are unaffected. It is therefore thought that such mutations interact with more common modifiers, genetic and/or environmental, to produce severe patterning defects. Modifiers are difficult to identify, as their effects are context-dependent and occur within the complex genetic and environmental landscapes that characterize human populations. We have developed mouse models for HPE that shed light on its complex etiology. Our studies with mouse lines carrying HH pathway mutations on appropriate genetic backgrounds have led to identification of both genetic and environmental modifiers that synergize with the mutations to produce a spectrum of HPE phenotypes. These models favor a scenario in which multiple modifying influences—both genetic and environmental, sensitizing and protective—interact with bona fide HPE mutations to grade phenotypic outcomes. Despite the complex interplay of HPE risk factors, our findings have helped establish concepts in HPE etiology.

Featured Recent Publications

Lo, H.-F., M. Hong, and R.S. Krauss. (2021). Concepts in multifactorial etiology of developmental disorders: gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in holoprosencephaly. Front Cell Dev Biol., 10.3389/fcell.2021.795194

Krauss, R.S. (2021) Dispatches from the front lines. The First Wave (Film review). Science, 374:1567.

Lo, H-F., Hong, M., Szutorisz, H., Hurd, Y.L., and R.S. Krauss. (2021). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits Hedgehog-dependent patterning during development. Development, 148(19).

Kann, A.P., Hung, M., and R.S. Krauss. (2021). Cell-cell contact and signaling in the muscle stem cell niche. Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 73:78-83.

Hong, M., A. Christ, A. Christa, T.E. Willnow and R.S. Krauss. (2020). Cdon mutation and fetal alcohol converge on Nodal signaling in a mouse model of holoprosencephaly. eLife, 9:e60351

Kann, A.P. and R.S. Krauss. (2019). Multiplexed RNAscope and immunofluorescence on whole-mount skeletal myofibers and their associated stem cells. Development, 146:1-9, dev179259.

Hong, M., K. Srivastava, S. Kim, B.L. Allen, D.J. Leahy, P. Hu, E. Roessler, R.S. Krauss* and M. Muenke*. (2017). BOC is a modifier gene in holoprosencephaly. Hum Mutat., 38:1464-1470.

Goel, A.J., M.K. Rieder, H.H. Arnold, G.L. Radice, and R.S. Krauss. (2017). Niche cadherins control the quiescence-to-activation transition in muscle stem cells. Cell Reports, 21:2236-2250.

Meet the Team

Robert Krauss


Rob is interested in how cell adhesion and signal transduction interact to make stuff happen in developing embryos and regenerating tissues. His students and postdocs have been making him look good for a long time.

Allison Kann

Ph.D. Student

Allison is a sixth-year PhD student studying the muscle stem cell quiescence-to-activation transition. When she isn’t in lab, she spends her time enjoying the best parts of NYC – the food, the parks, and the Broadway shows.

Mingi Hong

Research Assistant Professor

Mingi is a Research Assistant Professor interested in gene-environment interactions during development and how they contribute to the etiology of birth defects. Living things thrive around her, including the plants in the lab and her wonderful cat.

Vivian Lo

Postdoctoral Fellow

Vivian is a postdoc interested in regulation of Shh signaling during early central nervous system development. Outside the lab, her favorite pastime is watching live sporting events in NYC, especially the US Open.

Margaret Hung

Ph.D. Student

Maggie is a fifth-year PhD student studying how various catenin proteins regulate satellite cells in quiescence and in response to muscle injury. When not in lab, she enjoys sampling the great culinary treats in New York City, drinking too much coffee, and admiring all the dogs playing in central park.


Gyu-un Bae ProfessorSookmyung Womens UniversitySeoul, Republic of Korea

Francesca Cole Associate Professor Molecular CarcinogenesisMD Anderson Cancer Center • Smithville, TX

Iris Cheng City Research ScientistNew York City Department of Health

Daisuke Chihara Postdoctoral Researcher • Institut Curie • Paris, France

Jessica Feinleib Assistant ProfessorAnesthesiologyYale School of MedicineNew Haven, CT

Aviva Goel Principle Scientist  Emerging Research Lead Sema4 New York

Guoying Jiang Executive/Senior DirectorHead of Analytical Development & Quality Control • GenentechSouth San Francisco, CA

Giselle Joseph Principle Scientist • Novartis Institute for Biomedical ResearchCambridge, MA

Jong-Sun Kang ProfessorSamsung Biomedical Research InstituteSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSuwon, Republic of Korea

Sarah Knox Associate ProfessorCell and Tissue BiologyUC San Francisco

Youl-Nam Lee BioGemex Ltd.Sung Nam, Republic of Korea

Min Lu Head of Translational Sciences Flame Biosciences Boston, MA

Philip Mulieri Danbury OrthopedicsDanbury, CT

Marysia-Kolbe Rieder MS in Genetic Counseling studentIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew York, NY

Anthony Romer Senior Scientist  ElevateBio Cambridge, MA

Karen Schachter ScientistStem Cell DevelopmentNovo NordiskDenmark

Dario Sirabella Associate Research ScientistStem Cell Core Columbia University Medical CenterNew York, NY

Giichi Takaesu Associate ProfessorUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawa, Japan

Jaw-Ji Yang ProfessorChung Shan Medical University Taichung, Taiwan

Wei Zhang Principle Scientist UCB Pharmaceuticals Winchester, MA


October 2021:

  • Vivian’s paper, “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits Hedgehog-dependent patterning during development.” is published in Development and featured on The Node.
  • The lab attends the annual CDRB/BFSCI retreat, where Allison presents some of her thesis work.

Pandemic lab meetings look a little bit different…

Krauss lab at the 2018 departmental retreat
Krauss lab at the 2018 departmental retreat

Giselle’s defense party!
Giselle’s defense party!

Rob is installed as Mount Sinai Professor in Cell Biology!

The secret is out
The secret is out

Rob attends the Sundance Film Festival and reviews films for Science
Rob attends the Sundance Film Festival and reviews films for Science

Allison and Maggie take some time out from the 2018 Muscle Stem Cell Conference
Allison and Maggie take some time out from the 2018 Muscle Stem Cell Conference

Krauss lab at the March for Science
Krauss lab at the March for Science

Aviva’s defense party!
Aviva’s defense party!

The chick lab with an egg
The chick lab with an egg

RK and ST - separated at birth?
RK and ST – separated at birth?

Contact Us

Krauss Laboratory
Professor, Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology

Annenberg 25-70
Office: 212.241.2177
Lab: 212.241.9794

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