My research is focused on areas of skin development and patterning and cranial bone development. There is relatively little known about the genetic and cellular events that lead to the acquisition of dermal cell identity and differentiation in the embryo. My goal is to identify the genetic pathways that confer dermal cell identity which confers competence to induce various appendages of the skin and promote the patterning of the skin. We are currently using genetic tools to determine functional mediators of dermal cell and cranial bone identity and differentiation. We are also developing postnatal models to identify underlying mechanisms of skin fibrosis. These are fundamental biological problems with implications for development in general, and for our understanding of skin and skull bone related diseases.