The Hankenson lab is interested in bone formation and regeneration. We use both in vivo studies with genetically modified mice and in vitro studies with mesenchymal progenitor/stem cells to elucidate novel regulators of the cells that form bone - osteoblasts. Current projects are focused on extracellular growth factors and matrix proteins, with a focus on BMP, Wnt, and Notch signaling. We are particularly interested in how multiple extracellular signals integrate within the cell to induce cell differentiation and regulate osteoblast function.
I am a fervent believer that building a diverse workforce, of colleagues and trainees, adds significant value to our important work by increasing perspectives and approaches to problem solving. Further, I believe we have an obligation to ensure that those that are underrepresented in the sciences are provided pathways to research training and academic and career success.