Welcome to the Kusumi Lab web site. We use genomic approaches to address questions about vertebrate evolution with direct impact on biomedical and conservation challenges. Projects in the lab include:
We have used next-generation technologies to decipher the genome of the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a hallmark species of the desert southwest that is threatened with habitat loss and disease. This recent work is described in the video above. We are currently working on the genome of the Sonoran desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) and studying the population genetics of both species across the southwestern US.
We are studying the ability of the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) and the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) to regrow appendages and complex tissues including the spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, cartilage, blood vessels, and entire muscle groups. We are working to identify conserved genes and pathways involved in this remarkable regenerative process, with the ultimate goal of reactivating these processes in humans for medical therapies.