The focus of the Spencer lab is pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy using genetically modified mouse models. Genetically modified mice (transgenic, knock out and knock in models) are used to better understand the muscular dystrophies, develop therapies and to learn about normal muscle function. A variety of approaches are used to study these diseases that range from use of biochemical, cell biological, immunological and functional approaches for analyzing phenotypic outcomes. Currently, there are three ongoing projects in the Spencer lab. First, the lab is focused on understanding the signaling pathways that are impacted in calpainopathy (limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A) including CaMK and TK signaling. The lab also is involved in evaluating the contribution of immune cells to the development of fibrosis in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Finally,in collaboration with Drs. Carrie Miceli and Stanley Nelson, the lab is involved in identifying strategies to improve efficiency of exon skipping in DMD.
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