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Research in our laboratory focuses on two major mammalian organ systems, the central nervous system and kidney. In the developing nervous system, Sonic hedgehog acts as a morphogen to induce distinct neural identities throughout the ventral part of the neural tube. Our interest lies in determining how a robust ligand-based signaling process is generated, modulated and maintained within the neural target field and how the transcriptional output of this pathway contributes to the formation of a functional nervous system.