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.
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
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, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2022.04.016
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 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcell.2021.795194/full
Krauss, R.S. (2021) Dispatches from the front lines. The First Wave (Film review). Science, 374:1567. https://www.science.org/stoken/author-tokens/ST-246/full
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). https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.199585
- For discussion of this paper, see also:
- Press release: Cannabis causes birth defects in susceptible mice https://thenode.biologists.com/cannabis-causes-birth-defects-in-susceptible-mice/news/
- Research highlights: Environmental interactions with Hedgehog https://journals.biologists.com/dev/article/148/19/e148_e1902/272409/Environmental-interactions-with-Hedgehog
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. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955067421000703
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. https://dev.biologists.org/content/146/20/dev179259.abstract
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
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 is a first-year PhD student interested in muscle stem cell quiescence. She loves exploring New York City, trying new foods, and spending time with her cat.
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 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.
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 Professor • Sookmyung Womens University • Seoul, Republic of Korea
Francesca Cole Associate Professor • Molecular Carcinogenesis • MD Anderson Cancer Center • Smithville, TX
Iris Cheng City Research Scientist • New York City Department of Health
Daisuke Chihara Postdoctoral Researcher • Institut Curie • Paris, France
Jessica Feinleib Assistant Professor • Anesthesiology • Yale School of Medicine • New Haven, CT
Aviva Goel Principle Scientist • Emerging Research Lead • Sema4 • New York
Guoying Jiang Executive/Senior Director • Head of Analytical Development & Quality Control • Genentech • South San Francisco, CA
Giselle Joseph Principle Scientist • Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research • Cambridge, MA
Jong-Sun Kang Professor • Samsung Biomedical Research Institute • Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine • Suwon, Republic of Korea
Allison Kann Postdoctoral Fellow • Harvard University • Cambridge, MA
Sarah Knox Associate Professor • Cell and Tissue Biology • UC 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 Orthopedics • Danbury, CT
Marysia-Kolbe Rieder MS in Genetic Counseling student • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai • New York, NY
Anthony Romer Senior Scientist • ElevateBio • Cambridge, MA
Karen Schachter Scientist • Stem Cell Development • Novo Nordisk • Denmark
Dario Sirabella Associate Research Scientist • Stem Cell Core Columbia University Medical Center • New York, NY
Giichi Takaesu Associate Professor • University of the Ryukyus • Okinawa, Japan
Jaw-Ji Yang Professor • Chung Shan Medical University • Taichung, Taiwan
Wei Zhang Principle Scientist • UCB Pharmaceuticals • Winchester, MA
- Allison’s paper, “An injury-responsive Rac-to-Rho GTPase switch drives activation of muscle stem cells.” is published in Cell Stem Cell.
- Allison graduates with her PhD.
- 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.
Allison graduates with her PhD!
Pandemic lab meetings look a little bit different…
The chick lab with an egg
Allison wins the Terry Krulwich Doctoral Dissertation Prize!
The secret is out
Rob attends the Sundance Film Festival and reviews films for Science
Krauss lab at the 2018 departmental retreat
Allison’s defense party!
Krauss lab at the March for Science
Aviva’s defense party!
Rob is installed as Mount Sinai Professor in Cell Biology!
RK and ST – separated at birth?
Giselle’s defense party!
Professor, Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology