The research group Development & Disease focuses on the molecular basis by which form and structure of the skeleton are regulated during vertebrate development. Our approach combines research on human genetic disorders with gene function analysis in vitro and in animal models. The studies are carried out in close collaboration with the Institute of Medical Genetics at the Charité, Berlin. Recent advances in the identification and functional analysis of human gene mutations have provided new insights into the biology and pathology of limb malformations and, in particular, in the mechanisms of joint formation. Genetic screens have identified a large number of novel genes that are currently investigated for their role in normal bone development, in disease, and during the regeneration of bone and cartilage.