Morphogenesis and pathologies of Neuromuscular circuits
The main subject of the Helmbacher lab is the study of neuromuscular circuits. We study this on one hand from a developmental biology point of view, focusing on mechanisms driving morphogenesis of muscles and motor circuit assembly. Simultaneously, we explore this system from a pathophysiology point of view, trying to understand how dysfunction of the neuromuscular system, either during development or at homeostatic adult stages, can cause neuromuscular pathologies. A common theme in these studies is that we focus on cell interactions at the interface between distinct cell types, with our favorite players being motor neurons, muscle cells, and connective tissues. We currently explore the interactions between connective tissue cells and myogenic cells both in the context of muscle morphogenesis during development and of adult muscle regeneration after acute injuries or pathological contexts such as muscular dystrophies.
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