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Dr. Lefebvre investigates the genetic mechanisms that generate the diversity of cell types composing the body. Her emphasis is on deciphering how proteins called SOX transcription factors specify stem cells and highly specialized cells in the skeleton, how changes in these factors cause skeletal diseases, and how these factors also control other processes, including brain development and intellectual disability diseases.
Bone disorders exact a considerable toll on human health in both children and adults. Dr. Long seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying both normal skeletal development and the pathophysiology of bone diseases. His current research includes studies of skeletal stem cells and progenitors, metabolic regulation of bone cells, and the integration of bone and whole-body metabolism.