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        We are a group of scientists in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA. We use zebrafish to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which diverse and specialized cell types are developed during  vertebrate embryogenesis. Our main interests include studying hematopoietic and vascular development, and pancreas organogenesis. We also use zebrafish to model human diseases and facilitate the identification of therapeutic agents.  Chemical biology coupled with zebrafish genetics has been used in our laboratory to identify and develop small molecule candidates with the potential to treat cancers. To better advance zebrafish as a model organism for the research community, we are undertaking genome-wide mutagenesis with retroviral insertions and large-scale transgenic reporter gene expression for tissue specific genes by using GFP/RFP enhancer traps and BAC transgenesis.  To learn more about our research program, please click the related links or go to the Research page.

Transgenic zebrafish embryo with fluorescent circulating red blood cells. In 1997, we produced the very first transgenic zebrafish to express GFP in a specific tissue.  As CNN and Science News  reported: "It came from earth!". This tiny fish brought  an end to the science fiction concept that all creatures with glowing blood are from outer space. Play Quicktime Movie