The Elson Group

   We are interested how molecular events that occur in cells affect their function. A major focus or our work is the bone system, focusing primarily on osteoclasts, the only cells in our bodies that can degrade bone. Osteoclasts offer insights into basic biological questions such as cell adhesion, cell differentiation, and cell-to-cell fusion. In addition, these cells are highly relevant to understanding the basic biology of bone. Osteoclast function is critical for maintaining the mass, shape, and physical properties of bone in normal health and development, while inappropriate levels of osteoclast activity can cause major diseases, such as osteoporosis, osteopetrosis, and cancer-related bone loss. Our goal is to understand the basic biology of these systems and to contribute towards developing treatments for diseases that affect them.

   Our studies in these contexts combine studies at the molecular, cellular, and whole-animal levels. We use varied methodologies such as CRISPR to generate genetically modified mice and cells, transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of relevant cells, high-end microscopy, as well as techniques in biochemistry, molecular biology and tissue culture.