DR. SHALU JHANWAR
How does a chicken develop wings while a mouse has the paws, even though they share a major portion of their coding genomes? My major interest lies in understanding genomic and epigenomic underpinnings behind the diversity in limb structure present across vertebrates. Previous studies have suggested that the observed structural differences in limb arise during the early embryonic development. We hypothesize that dynamism in open chromatin containing active cis-regulatory elements has functional implications in mediating varied limb morphologies among vertebrates. Moreover, we theorize that the evolutionarily accelerated cis-regulatory regions active during development are the major players responsible for the divergence in limb morphology between species. To understand the genomic and the epigenomic mechanisms underlying limb diversity, I make use of the state-of-the-art next generating sequencing, genetics and molecular biology in the model organisms such as mouse and chicken.