The Cell Differentiation and Pathology Laboratory, directed by Dr. Enrique Brandan, is dedicated to the study of the cell and molecular mechanisms involved in processes of formation, regeneration, and cell physiology of skeletal muscle. The research emphasis is focused on muscular dystrophies, to understand the function of the extracellular matrix in the muscle-cell response to various factors that stimulate or inhibit myogenesis. In skeletal muscle dystrophies, denervation a characteristic of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) connective tissue is excessively accumulated, which replaces normal tissue and causes malfunction of organs, such as the loss of muscle strength in the case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Understanding the cells and mechanisms responsible for the synthesis and accumulation of connective tissue molecules is critical to understand the processes involved in fibrosis associated with this neuromuscular diseases, and to eventually inhibit and improve skeletal muscle function.

Investigator in charge: Enrique Brandan