Maria J Garcia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. She received a B.S. degree in Biology from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) in 1994. In 1999, she received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at CBM Severo Ochoa (Madrid. Spain) for her studies on the patterning of the sensory system of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. She then joined Dr. Kathryn V. Anderson at Sloan-Kettering Institute (New York) as a postdoctoral fellow, where she worked on the identification and characterization of mouse ENU mutants affecting early embryogenesis.
Our laboratory is interested in understanding what are the genes and processes that control early embryonic development in mammals. We use mouse as a model organism, and forward genetics as our experimental approach to isolate mutations that disrupt embryonic development. By identifying the genes disrupted in these mutants and characterizing their phenotypes, we aim to increase our current knowledge of the genetic pathways and cellular processes that control embryogenesis. This knowledge is important for the prevention of early miscarriage and congenital birth defects, as well as for the development of therapies for certain human pathological conditions affecting adults.
Current areas of focus in the laboratory are mutants that disrupt neural tube closure and gut morphogenesis. We are also investigating the genes and regulatory mechanisms that control genomic imprinting.
Outreach and Extension Focus
Our lab has been offering annual outreach activities as part of Cornell's 4H Career Exploration Conference since 2013. Our program on Genetics and Embryonic Development provides opportunities for 9-12 grade students to observe developing chicken and mouse embryos at different embryonic stages, to learn about the study and detection of congenital birth defects, as well as to perform genetic testing techniques using their own DNA. For information about our program, you can visit the 4H Career explorations website (http://4hstaff.cce.cornell.edu/career-explorations).
BioMG1350 - Principles of Cell and Developmental Biology
BioMG1350 is an introductory biology course that instructs about the molecular mechanisms that underlie the organization, division, and growth of individual cells, as well as how cells differentiate and organize during embryonic development to form functional tissues in multicellular organisms.
For more information about BioMG1350, you can visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/biomg1350/
- Murphy, K. E., Shylo, N. A., Alexander, K. A., Churchill, A. J., Copperman, C., & García-García, M. J. (2016). The Transcriptional Repressive Activity of KRAB Zinc Finger Proteins Does Not Correlate with Their Ability to Recruit TRIM28. PLoS One. 11:e0163555.
- Alexander, K. A., Wang, X., Shibata, M., Clark, A., & García-García, M. J. (2015). TRIM28 Controls Genomic Imprinting through Distinct Mechanisms during and after Early Genome-wide Reprogramming. Cell Reports. 13:1194-205.
- Cota, C. D., & Garcia-Garcia, M. J. (2012). The ENU-induced cetus mutation reveals an essential role of the DNA helicase DDX11 for mesoderm development during early mouse embryogenesis. Developmental Dynamics. 241:1249-1259.
- Garcia-Garcia, M. J., & Shibata, M. (2011). The mouse KRAB zinc-finger protein CHATO is required In embryonic-derived tissues to control yolk sac and placental morphogenesis. Developmental Biology. 349:331-341.
- Shibata, M., Blauvelt, K. E., Liem Jr. , K. F., & Garcia-Garcia, M. J. (2011). TRIM28 is required by the mouse KRAB domain protein ZFP568 to control convergent extension and morphogenesis of extra-embryonic tissues. Development (Cambridge, England). 138:5333-5343.
- Garcia-Garcia, M. J., Shibata, M., & Anderson, K. V. (2008). Chato, a KRAB zinc-finger protein, regulates convergent extension in the mouse embry. Development (Cambridge, England). 135:3053-62.