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.
The Lefebvre Lab advances the understanding of skeletal and neurodevelopmental syndromes. To this end, the team is decrypting mechanisms controlling the identity and activities of stem cells and differentiated cells governing these processes. A main focus is on SOX transcription factors, proteins with master roles in driving cell type-specific genetic programs, and alterations that cause skeletal, neurodevelopmental, and other diseases.
Understanding the mechanisms by which the skeleton forms and grows in healthy babies and children and using this information to uncover the pathogenesis of rare and common musculoskeletal disorders by working with animal models of the diseases.