Understanding Human Developmental Somitogenesis and Myogenesis

Somites form during embryonic development and give rise to various cell and tissue types, such as skeletal muscles, ribs, vertebrae, brown fat and skin of the back. We have transcriptionally profiled human presomitic and somitic mesoderm, which has improved our knowledge on this critical process and enabled us to efficiently derive human somite cells from pluripotent stem cells in a dish. We are now using a similar strategy to study different stages of human developmental myogenesis to improve our understanding of myogenic specification in vivo and enhance myogenic cell derivation in vitro.