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

Skeletal muscle stem cells

Skeletal muscle stem cells (MuSCs) are the source of skeletal muscle’s remarkable regenerative properties. MuSCs are maintained in a quiescent state during homeostasis but upon muscle injury they activate, proliferate, and differentiate to form new muscle. Mechanisms whereby quiescent stem cells sense and respond to tissue damage are, however, a persistent enigma in regenerative biology. Our recent work revealed that quiescent MuSCs have long, elaborate cellular projections that respond to injury via a Rac-to-Rho GTPase activity switch. This leads to retraction of projections and cytoskeletal remodeling, which in turn drives downstream MuSC activation events. Current studies focus on how projections sense tissue injury and how cytoskeletal regulation controls quiescence vs. activation states.


Modeling holoprosencephaly in the mouse

The causes of individual cases of most common birth defects are unknown but likely involve a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental exposures. Holoprosencephaly (HPE) is a common developmental disorder caused by failure to define the midline of the forebrain and/or midface, and serves as a model system for this problem. 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. We have developed mouse models for HPE that accurately reflect its complex etiology in humans. Current studies focus on molecular mechanisms whereby genetic and environmental risk factors synergize to produce adverse developmental outcomes. Such findings offer potential for preventive strategies.

Featured Recent Publications

Krauss, R.S. and A.P. Kann. (2023). Muscle stem cells get a new look: Dynamic cellular projections as sensors of the stem cell niche. BioEssays 45:1-9, 10.1002/bies.202200249

Lipinski, R.J. and R.S. Krauss. (2023). Gene-environment interactions in birth defect etiology: Challenges and opportunities. Curr Top Dev Biol 152:1-30.

Krauss, R.S. (2023). Materialism meets transcendence. Searching: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science. Science, 379:36.

Kann, A.P., Hung, M., Wang, W., Nguyen, J., Gilbert, P.M., Wu, Z., and Krauss, R.K. (2022). An injury-responsive Rac-to-Rho GTPase switch drives activation of muscle stem cells through rapid cytoskeletal remodeling. Cell Stem Cell,  

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

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. Curr Opin Cell Biol, 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.

Grace Jones

Ph.D. Student

Grace is a second-year PhD student interested in muscle stem cell quiescence. She loves trying new restaurants in New York, spending time with her cat, and finding friends who share her love for tacos and margs.

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 sixth-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.

Camelia González

Research Associate

Camelia is a research associate, planning on going to medical school. She is from Puerto Rico and enjoys running, joking with her lab-mates, and warm days in the city.



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

Allison Kann Postdoctoral Fellow Harvard University • Cambridge, MA

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

Photos and Happenings!

Lab lunch at 2nd Ave Deli!

Allison graduates with her PhD!

Pandemic lab meetings look a little bit different…

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

Allison wins the Terry Krulwich Doctoral Dissertation Prize!

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

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

Allison’s defense party!

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

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

Krauss lab 2018

Rob is installed as Mount Sinai Professor in Cell Biology!

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

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

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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