Associate Investigator, Shriners Hospitals for Children
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UCD SOM
2425 Stockton Blvd, Room 671, Sacramento, CA 95817
kzarbalis (at) ucdavis.edu
- Postdoctoral Training, Developmental Neurobiology, UCSF
- PhD, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Technical University Munich, Germany
- MS, Biology, Technical University Munich, Germany
Our work focuses on the processes that guide the development of the brain and craniofacial skeleton and use this insight to expand our understanding of neurodevelopmental and craniofacial disorders. Our goal is to use knowledge gained into the mechanisms underlying these disorders to develop better diagnostic tools, preventive measures, and pathways to intervention.
Current work focuses on three main areas. First, investigating the mechanisms by which the autophagy and autism risk factor WDFY3 regulates the development of the brain by orchestrating neuronal migration and connectivity. Second, to research the interface between ribosomopathies and neurocristopathies and resulting birth defects, such as facial clefts. We are particularly interested on how possibly unique requirements of neural crest cells disproportionally affect craniofacial structures if ubiquitous ribosome biosynthesis is impaired. Third, we are conducting work on the role that maternal micronutrient supply during pregnancy may play in cerebral cortical development and how inadequate supply may precipitate neurodevelopmental disorders.