The Di Gregorio Lab was established in January 2003 at the Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan (New York).
In May of 2015 we moved to our new home, the Department of Molecular Pathobiology in the College of Dentistry of New York University.
Our mission remains the same: to use a simple marine organism, the "sea squirt" Ciona, to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression
during development and evolution of the notochord.
The notochord is an axial structure that precedes and
instructs the formation of the spine, the main support of
the body of all chordates, including humans.
Notochord malformations cause severe or lethal defects
in the formation of the nervous system, the axial skeleton,
and vital organs.
The microphotograph on the right shows a Ciona embryo.
The notochord is colored in red, it is composed of just 40 cells
and is the main support of the developing embryo.
In humans, the notochord is still the main source of support
and patterning signals; it is composed of many cells,
later replaced by the vertebral column, and its remnants
become part of the intervertebral discs.
From Maguire et al., 2018 (C)
Di Gregorio Lab (C)