Virginia E Papaioannou
Virginia E Papaioannou
Professor of Genetics & Development

Address: 701 West 168th Street Room 1402 New York NY 10032
Phone: 212-305-4753
Fax: 212-305-5484


Education and Training:
Ph.D. 1972, University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral Fellow 1971-1974, University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral Fellow 1975-1979, University of Oxford
Research Scientist 1979-1980, University of Oxford
Assistant Professor 1981-1989, Tufts University
Associate Professor 1989-1993, Tufts University
bullet  Department of Genetics and Development
Training Activities:
bullet  Chair, Training Program in Genetics and Development
bullet  MD/PhD Program
bullet  Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular and Biophysical Studies
Research Summary:
(800 words, max)
Genetic control of mammalian development from peri-implantation stages through organogenesis; determination of the role of T-box genes in development, using embryonic stem-cell technology and targeted mutagenesis.
Current Research:
Our laboratory is interested in the genetic control of early mammalian development, from the first cleavage of the fertilized zygote through implantation, gastrulation, and early organogenesis. We use a variety of approaches to study the determination of cell lineages and the interactions of the developing embryo with the maternal environment, taking advantage of both naturally occurring and experimentally induced mutations. The major strength of the laboratory is the combination of classic experimental embryology techniques with molecular biology and targeted mutagenesis.
The major project in the laboratory is the study of a family of transcription factor genes, the T-box gene family. These genes share a conserved DNA-binding motif first found in the Brachyury locus. The genes are highly conserved in evolution and have been implicated in the control of mesoderm formation and in inductive interactions in the organogenesis of organs such as mammary gland, heart, lung, and limbs. Several mutations in human T-box genes have been shown to be responsible for birth defects and by using targeted mutagenesis, we have produced mouse models for the human DiGeorge syndrome (Tbx1), the ulnar mammary syndrome (Tbx3) and the small patella syndrome (Tbx4). In addition, we are investigating the role of Tbx6 in somite specification and the decision between neural and mesodermal fates, and the roles of Tbx2, Tbx3, and Tbx4 in heart and limb development. Our interest is in understanding how these genes control cell fate and tissue specification decisions during early development.
(6 max)
1. Washkowitz AJ, Schall C, Zhang K, Floss T, Mager J and Papaioannou VE: (2015) The role of Mga in the survival of pluripotent cells during peri-implantation development.  Development  142: 31-40

2. Papaioannou VE: (2014) The T-box gene family: Emerging roles in development, stem cells and cancer.  Development  141: 3819-3833

3. Concepcion D and Papaioannou VE: (2014) Nature and extent of left/right axis defects in Twis/Twis mutant embryos.  Developmental Dynamics   243: 2697-2702

4. Leitch HG, Okamura D, Durcova-Hills G, Gardner RL, Matsui Y and Papaioannou VE : (2014) On the fate of primordial germ cells injected into early mouse embryos.  Developmental Biology  385: 155-159

5. Douglas NC, Heng K, Sauer MV and Papaioannou VE : (2012) Dynamic expression of Tbx2 subfamily genes in development of the mouse reproductive system.  Developmental Dynamics  241: 365-375.

6. Lugani F, Arora R, Papeta N, Patel A, Zheng Z, Serken R, Singer RA, Caridi GL, Mendelsohn C, Sussel L, Papaioannou VE and Gharavi AG: (2013) A retrotransposon insertion in the 5' regulatory domain of Ptf1a results in ectopic gene expression and multiple congenital defects in Danforth's Short Tail mouse.  PLoS Genetics  9: e1003206

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