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One or more keywords matched the following properties of Emerson, Charles
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Academic Background

Dr. Emerson received his undergraduate education at Princeton University in Biology/Biochemistry, and his graduate training at MIT and the University of California, San Diego in Cell and Molecular Biology. He then pursued postdoctoral research as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia, where he initiated his career-long studies of skeletal myogenesis. He received his first faculty appointment in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia and advanced to become Commonwealth Professor of Biology. His subsequent faculty appointments include: Senior Scientist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, the Joseph Leidy Professor and Chair of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Director and Senior Scientist at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, as well as visiting scientist at the Carnegie Institution Department of Embryology and the Pasteur Institute. Dr. Emerson joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2013 as Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Neurology and as Director of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Program. At UMMS, he has continued his investigations of skeletal muscle development, focusing on human muscle biology and muscular dystrophies. His research has been generously supported by NIH, including Career Development and Merit Awards and directorship of an NIH Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center, and by foundations supporting cancer and muscular dystrophy research. Throughout his career, he has had many valued and productive research collaborations, he has lead NIH graduate and postdoctoral training programs in cell and developmental biology, and he has been the proud mentor to a cadre of talented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Emerson Lab Research Program

Skeletal muscle development, regeneration and disease

Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the human body, responsible for all voluntary motor activity to enable our amazingly complex behaviors and adaptive functions- every smile, breath, and step. The Emerson Lab utilizes genome, molecular and stem cell technologies to understand how muscles develop in embryos and how injured muscles repair and regenerate in adults, with the goal of understanding molecular pathologies of human genetic muscular dystrophies and the development of therapeutics. Our lab is highly collaborative with academic and industry scientists, clinicians and patient advocates though the UMMS Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center, with the support of NIH and foundations dedicated to the treatment of muscular dystrophies.


Current Research

iPSC modeling of human skeletal myogenesis and muscular dystrophy.

Dr. Emerson’s research historically has utilized molecular, embryological and genetic approaches to investigate transcriptional and signaling regulation of skeletal muscle development in animal models including birds, Drosophia and mouse as well as cell culture myoblast models. Recently the Emerson lab has focused its research on human muscle biology, utilizing iPSC reprogramming and differentiation technologies to investigate the earliest epigenetic and molecular regulatory mechanisms that regulate commitment of pluripotent human cells to form muscle stem cell lineages, processes not readily accessible to investigation in embryos. These iPSC modelling studies have been made possible through collaboration with Genea Biocells, who are developing gene-free methods for step-wise chemical and growth factor induction of skeletal muscle stem cells from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in the Emerson Lab, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), based on knowledge of signaling pathways operative during muscle development in the vertebrate embryo. These innovative ESC and iPSC skeletal muscle technologies have uniquely enabled the Emerson lab to investigate genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms controlling the earliest stages of human skeletal muscle development as well as the molecular pathologies of human genetic muscular dystrophies, including facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and limb girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMD) including LGMD2i and LGMD2g and develop small molecule and RNA therapeutics, and CRISPR gene correction and stem cell therapies to treat patients with these diseases.

Ongoing research projects in the Emerson lab:

• Identification of early developmental master regulatory genes controlling muscle stem cell lineage specification using CRISPR gene expression and editing technologies and small molecule developmental pathway activators and inhibitors, in collaboration with Scot Wolfe at UMMS and Genea Biocells;

• Identification of iPSC muscle stem cell lineages to promote efficient skeletal muscle regeneration through development of muscle xenoengraftment technologies;

• Modeling the role of innate immunity in FSHD muscle pathology, using combined muscle and blood xenografting technologies in immune deficient mice, in collaboration with Michael Brehm at UMMS;

• Investigations of FSHD clinical disease severity through iPSC modeling of the molecular pathologies of iPSC muscle reprogrammed from FSHD patients with mild adult-onset disease and profound infantile-onset disease;

• Development of RNA and small molecule therapeutics for FSHD, in collaboration with Jon Watts and Anastasia Khvorova at UMMS and Genea Biocells.

• Development of CRISPR gene correction therapeutics for LGMD2i and LGMD2g in collaboration with Scot Wolfe at UMMS.

Summary The Emerson lab investigates skeletal muscle development and disease. Research has focused on defining transcriptional networks and signaling pathways that control the specification and differentiation of skeletal muscle progenitors in the developing embryo.
One or more keywords matched the following items that are connected to Emerson, Charles
Item TypeName
Academic Article Notochord signals control the transcriptional cascade of myogenic bHLH genes in somites of quail embryos.
Academic Article Splice-junction elements and intronic sequences regulate alternative splicing of the Drosophila myosin heavy chain gene transcript.
Academic Article Sonic hedgehog controls epaxial muscle determination through Myf5 activation.
Academic Article Multiple tissue interactions and signal transduction pathways control somite myogenesis.
Academic Article Myosin rod protein: a novel thick filament component of Drosophila muscle.
Academic Article Muscle determination: another key player in myogenesis?
Academic Article Selective repression of myoD transcription by v-Myc prevents terminal differentiation of quail embryo myoblasts transformed by the MC29 strain of avian myelocytomatosis virus.
Academic Article Contribution of myosin rod protein to the structural organization of adult and embryonic muscles in Drosophila.
Academic Article Pax3 functions in cell survival and in pax7 regulation.
Academic Article Structure and evolution of the alternatively spliced fast troponin T isoform gene.
Academic Article Positive and negative intronic regulatory elements control muscle-specific alternative exon splicing of Drosophila myosin heavy chain transcripts.
Academic Article SULF1 and SULF2 regulate heparan sulfate-mediated GDNF signaling for esophageal innervation.
Academic Article A novel hybrid alpha-tropomyosin in fibroblasts is produced by alternative splicing of transcripts from the skeletal muscle alpha-tropomyosin gene.
Academic Article Myf5 is a direct target of long-range Shh signaling and Gli regulation for muscle specification.
Academic Article Gene expression profiling of skeletal muscles treated with a soluble activin type IIB receptor.
Academic Article Establishment of clonal myogenic cell lines from severely affected dystrophic muscles - CDK4 maintains the myogenic population.
Academic Article Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy family studies of DUX4 expression: evidence for disease modifiers and a quantitative model of pathogenesis.
Academic Article Transcriptional profiling in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy to identify candidate biomarkers.
Academic Article Does the road to muscle rejuvenation go through Notch?
Academic Article Quail myoD is regulated by a complex array of cis-acting control sequences.
Academic Article Embryonic activation of the myoD gene is regulated by a highly conserved distal control element.
Academic Article Embryonic signals for skeletal myogenesis: arriving at the beginning.
Academic Article Sequential activation of three myogenic regulatory genes during somite morphogenesis in quail embryos.
Academic Article Gli2 and Gli3 have redundant and context-dependent function in skeletal muscle formation.
Academic Article Myosin functional domains encoded by alternative exons are expressed in specific thoracic muscles of Drosophila.
Academic Article Sulfs are regulators of growth factor signaling for satellite cell differentiation and muscle regeneration.
Academic Article Localized expression of a myogenic regulatory gene, qmf1, in the somite dermatome of avian embryos.
Academic Article A unique library of myogenic cells from facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy subjects and unaffected relatives: family, disease and cell function.
Academic Article Coordinate accumulation of contractile protein mRNAs during myoblast differentiation.
Academic Article Activation of myosin synthesis in fusing and mononucleated myoblasts.
Academic Article Regulatory elements that control the lineage-specific expression of myoD.
Concept Muscle Contraction
Concept Quadriceps Muscle
Concept Muscle Proteins
Concept Muscles
Concept Muscle Development
Concept Myocytes, Smooth Muscle
Concept Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle
Concept Muscle Fibers, Skeletal
Concept Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch
Concept Muscle, Skeletal
Academic Article Human skeletal muscle xenograft as a new preclinical model for muscle disorders.
Academic Article Morpholino-mediated Knockdown of DUX4 Toward Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Therapeutics.
Academic Article Expression of the troponin complex genes: transcriptional coactivation during myoblast differentiation and independent control in heart and skeletal muscles.
Academic Article Identification of the hyaluronic acid pathway as a therapeutic target for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
Academic Article p38 MAPKs - roles in skeletal muscle physiology, disease mechanisms, and as potential therapeutic targets.
Academic Article iMyoblasts for ex vivo and in vivo investigations of human myogenesis and disease modeling.
Academic Article Outcome Measures in Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Clinical Trials.
Academic Article DUX4 expression activates JNK and p38 MAP kinases in myoblasts.
Academic Article Post-Translational Modifications of the DUX4 Protein Impact Toxic Function in FSHD Cell Models.
Academic Article Flavones provide resistance to DUX4-induced toxicity via an mTor-independent mechanism.
Academic Article A human immune/muscle xenograft model of FSHD muscle pathology.
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  • Muscles