BBS Faculty Member - Richard Maas

Richard Maas

Department of Medicine
Division of Genetics

Brigham and Women's Hospital
NRB, Rm. 458H
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-525-4706
Fax: 617-525-4751
Lab Members: 11 postdoctoral fellows, 1 graduate student

Many organs form via the sequential exchange of inductive signals between interacting tissues, frequently an epithelium and a mesenchyme.

We are identifying the molecular components of the inductive signaling mechanisms that operate between tissues during early mammalian organogenesis. In parallel, we have begun to integrate this genetic and developmental information with tissue engineering and stem cell approaches to generate new organ tissues. The organs and tissues under investigation include the developing eye, kidney, pancreatic islet, and craniofacial region (tooth and palate). The goal is to use analyses of endogenous organ development to deduce “molecular blueprints”- i.e., the genetic and protein based regulatory network by which organs form- to design and engineer organs and organ parts de novo. This is a highly interdisciplinary consortium based project called SysCODE (Systems-based Consortium for Organ Design and Engineering) that involves many HMS, HU and MIT faculty in a team approach to organ building. A variety of rotation projects are available to interested students.

First, we are using laser capture microdissection (LCM) to build comprehensive gene expression lists for embryonic mouse tissues for some of the organs mentioned above. Second, we are employing systems approaches to use this information and proteomic and mutant data to deduce gene regulatory networks (GRNs) for organogenesis. Third, we are collaborating with tissue engineering faculty and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) to design and engineer new mammalian tissues from different types of progenitor cells.

Last Update: 8/11/2017


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Wang XP, O’Connell DJ, Lund JJ, Saadi I, Kuraguchi M, Turbe-Doan A, Yang X, Kucherlapati R, Maas R. Apc inhibition of Wnt signaling regulates supernumerary tooth formation during embryogenesis and throughout adulthood. Development 2009;136:1939-49.

Rowan S, Siggers T, Lachke SA, Yue Y, Bulyk ML, Maas RL. Precise temporal control of the eye regulatory gene Pax6 via enhancer-binding site affinity. Genes Dev. 2010 May 15;24(10):980-5.

Anchan RM, Quaas P, Gerami-Naini B, Bartake H, Griffin A, Zhou Y, Day D, Eaton JL, George LL, Naber C, Turbe-Doan A, Park PJ, Hornstein MD, Maas RL. Amniocytes can serve a dual function as a source of iPS cells and feeder layers Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Mar 1;20(5):962-74.

Lachke SA, Alkuraya FS, Kneeland SC, Ohn T, Aboukhalil A, Howell GR, Saadi I, Cavallesco R, Yue Y, Tsai AC, Nair KS, Cosma MI, Smith RS, Hodges E, Alfadhli SM, Al-Hajeri A, Shamseldin HE, Behbehani A, Hannon GJ, Bulyk ML, Drack AV, Anderson PJ, John SW, Maas RL. Mutations in the RNA granule component TDRD7 cause cataract and glaucoma. Science. 2011 Mar 25;331(6024):1571-6.

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