Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca, a former Research Scientist in Dr. Kwon's lab, is highlighted on the NIAMS website as a Diversity Supplement Scholar. Click on the link to view Ernesto's profile or see below.
Institution: University of Washington School of Medicine (Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine)
Career Level: Post-Baccalaureate
Brief Research Summary: I am interested in using zebrafish to understand the biological mechanisms underlying genetic risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis has a strong genetic component, however the mechanisms by which genetic variation influences osteoporosis risk are mostly unknown. My research focuses on understanding how genetic variants at a particular genomic region called 7q31.31 (also known as the CPED1-WNT16 locus) influence lifelong bone mineral density (BMD). Zebrafish are a useful model for my study due to their external development, optical transparency, and amenability to rapid-throughput approaches.