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Developmental Biology
University of Colorado School of Medicine
RC1 North, Rm P18-4131
Mailstop 8313
12800 E. 19th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: 303-724-4349

Children's Hospital Colorado - ​​​​


Welcome to Developmental Biology

The Section of Developmental Biology in the Department of Pediatrics provides insight into the underlying causes of human birth defects and diseases through basic scientific research.

Current areas of research emphasis include:

  • development of the nervous system
  • formation of the blood-brain barrier
  • facial development

Researchers use animal models to investigate causes of developmental disease with the goal of finding preventative strategies or effective therapies.

Children’s Hospital Colorado Research Institute and the Gates Frontier Fund have helped to launch and establish the Section of Developmental Biology.





  • Dr. Santos Franco has been awarded a 5-year National Institutes of Health R01 grant entitled, "Mechanisms of Oligodendrocyte Fate Specification in the Developing Neocortex".
  • Graduate student Santiago Fregoso and Dr. Santos Franco have had a manuscript entitled, "Lmx1a drives Cux2 expression in the cortical hem through activation of a conserved intronic enhancer" accepted for publication in the journal Development.
  • Emily Bates, Ph.D., with graduate student Laura George as lead author, has had a manuscript entitled, “Ion channel contributions to wing development in Drosophila melanogaster” accepted for publication in the journal G3.
  • Christian Mosimann, Ph.D., Alexa Burger, Ph.D., and several of their research team members will join the Section of Developmental Biology in July 2019. Currently at the University of Zurich, Drs. Mosimann and Burger have built an innovative and highly collaborative research group focusing on cardiovascular development. Dr. Mosimann will be named as the Johnson Endowed Chair in Heart Development Research. 
  • Bruce Appel, PhD., Caleb Doll, PhD., Santos Franco, PhD. and Ethan Hughes, PhD., recently received a two-year NIH award entitled, "Mechanisms of Neuron-Glia Synaptic Communication".

  • The Santos Franco lab recently published a manuscript entitled, "The Dorsal Wave of Neocortical Oligodendrogenesis Begins Embryonically and Requires Multiple Sources of Sonic Hedgehog" in the Journal of Neuroscience.

  • Emily Bates, PhD, recently received a 5-year award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research​ for a project entitled, "Ion channel mediated control of morphogen signaling for craniofacial development in mammals".

  • Julie Siegenthaler, PhD, and her research team received word that their manuscript entitled, "Retinoic acid is required for neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation in the adult hippocampus" has been accepted for publication in Stem Cell Reports.