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Amy Merrill-Brugger, BS, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentBiomedical Engineering
AddressCSA 141
Health Sciences Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089-9062
Phone+1 323 442 1147
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    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CABSDevelopmental Biology
    University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CAPhDDevelopmental Biology
    University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CApostdocDevelopmental Biology
    University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CApostdocHuman Genetics

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    Dr. Amy Merrill received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2005 from the University of Southern California. During her doctoral studies she used mouse genetics to discover a novel role for cellular boundaries in the pathogenesis of craniosynostosis. From 2005-2007 she did a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, San Francisco were she uncovered the unique potential of cranial neural crest cells to autonomously control the timing of bone formation in the developing face. Prior to joining the faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at USC in 2010, she completed a fellowship in Medical Genetics at University of California, Los Angeles/Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Her studies in human genetics identified the first disease-causing mutations for Short-rib polydactyly syndrome and establish this lethal skeletal disorder as a ciliopathy. Currently Dr. Merrill's laboratory studies the disease mechanism for Bent Bone Dysplasia Syndrome.


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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Neben CL, Tuzon CT, Mao X, Lay FD, Merrill AE. FGFR2 mutations in bent bone dysplasia syndrome activate nucleolar stress and perturb cell fate determination. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 09 01; 26(17):3253-3270. PMID: 28595297.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Salva JE, Merrill AE. Signaling networks in joint development. Dev Dyn. 2017 04; 246(4):262-274. PMID: 27859991.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Neben CL, Lay FD, Mao X, Tuzon CT, Merrill AE. Ribosome biogenesis is dynamically regulated during osteoblast differentiation. Gene. 2017 May 15; 612:29-35. PMID: 27847259.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Noack Watt KE, Achilleos A, Neben CL, Merrill AE, Trainor PA. The Roles of RNA Polymerase I and III Subunits Polr1c and Polr1d in Craniofacial Development and in Zebrafish Models of Treacher Collins Syndrome. PLoS Genet. 2016 07; 12(7):e1006187. PMID: 27448281; PMCID: PMC4957770.
    5. Neben CL, Roberts RR, Dipple KM, Merrill AE, Klein OD. Modeling craniofacial and skeletal congenital birth defects to advance therapies. Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Oct 01; 25(R2):R86-R93. PMID: 27346519.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Krakow D, Cohn DH, Wilcox WR, Noh GJ, Raffel LJ, Sarukhanov A, Ivanova MH, Danielpour M, Grange DK, Elliott AM, Bernstein JA, Rimoin DL, Merrill AE, Lachman RS. Clinical and radiographic delineation of Bent Bone Dysplasia-FGFR2 type or Bent Bone Dysplasia with Distinctive Clavicles and Angel-shaped Phalanges. Am J Med Genet A. 2016 Oct; 170(10):2652-61. PMID: 27240702.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Zieba J, Forlenza KN, Khatra JS, Sarukhanov A, Duran I, Rigueur D, Lyons KM, Cohn DH, Merrill AE, Krakow D. TGFß and BMP Dependent Cell Fate Changes Due to Loss of Filamin B Produces Disc Degeneration and Progressive Vertebral Fusions. PLoS Genet. 2016 Mar; 12(3):e1005936. PMID: 27019229; PMCID: PMC4809497.
    8. Neben CL, Merrill AE. Signaling Pathways in Craniofacial Development: Insights from Rare Skeletal Disorders. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2015; 115:493-542. PMID: 26589936.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Neben CL, Idoni B, Salva JE, Tuzon CT, Rice JC, Krakow D, Merrill AE. Bent bone dysplasia syndrome reveals nucleolar activity for FGFR2 in ribosomal DNA transcription. Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Nov 01; 23(21):5659-71. PMID: 24908667; PMCID: PMC4189901.
    10. Trainor PA, Merrill AE. Ribosome biogenesis in skeletal development and the pathogenesis of skeletal disorders. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jun; 1842(6):769-78. PMID: 24252615; PMCID: PMC4020712.
    11. Merrill AE, Sarukhanov A, Krejci P, Idoni B, Camacho N, Estrada KD, Lyons KM, Deixler H, Robinson H, Chitayat D, Curry CJ, Lachman RS, Wilcox WR, Krakow D. Bent bone dysplasia-FGFR2 type, a distinct skeletal disorder, has deficient canonical FGF signaling. Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Mar 09; 90(3):550-7. PMID: 22387015; PMCID: PMC3309195.
    12. Alanay Y, Avaygan H, Camacho N, Utine GE, Boduroglu K, Aktas D, Alikasifoglu M, Tuncbilek E, Orhan D, Bakar FT, Zabel B, Superti-Furga A, Bruckner-Tuderman L, Curry CJ, Pyott S, Byers PH, Eyre DR, Baldridge D, Lee B, Merrill AE, Davis EC, Cohn DH, Akarsu N, Krakow D. Mutations in the gene encoding the RER protein FKBP65 cause autosomal-recessive osteogenesis imperfecta. Am J Hum Genet. 2010 Apr 09; 86(4):551-9. PMID: 20362275; PMCID: PMC2850430.
    13. Merrill AE, Merriman B, Farrington-Rock C, Camacho N, Sebald ET, Funari VA, Schibler MJ, Firestein MH, Cohn ZA, Priore MA, Thompson AK, Rimoin DL, Nelson SF, Cohn DH, Krakow D. Ciliary abnormalities due to defects in the retrograde transport protein DYNC2H1 in short-rib polydactyly syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2009 Apr; 84(4):542-9. PMID: 19361615; PMCID: PMC2667993.
    14. Merrill AE, Eames BF, Weston SJ, Heath T, Schneider RA. Mesenchyme-dependent BMP signaling directs the timing of mandibular osteogenesis. Development. 2008 Apr; 135(7):1223-34. PMID: 18287200; PMCID: PMC2844338.
    15. Merrill AE, Bochukova EG, Brugger SM, Ishii M, Pilz DT, Wall SA, Lyons KM, Wilkie AO, Maxson RE. Cell mixing at a neural crest-mesoderm boundary and deficient ephrin-Eph signaling in the pathogenesis of craniosynostosis. Hum Mol Genet. 2006 Apr 15; 15(8):1319-28. PMID: 16540516.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Brugger SM, Merrill AE, Torres-Vazquez J, Wu N, Ting MC, Cho JY, Dobias SL, Yi SE, Lyons K, Bell JR, Arora K, Warrior R, Maxson R. A phylogenetically conserved cis-regulatory module in the Msx2 promoter is sufficient for BMP-dependent transcription in murine and Drosophila embryos. Development. 2004 Oct; 131(20):5153-65. PMID: 15459107.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Ishii M, Merrill AE, Chan YS, Gitelman I, Rice DP, Sucov HM, Maxson RE. Msx2 and Twist cooperatively control the development of the neural crest-derived skeletogenic mesenchyme of the murine skull vault. Development. 2003 Dec; 130(24):6131-42. PMID: 14597577.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Kwang SJ, Brugger SM, Lazik A, Merrill AE, Wu LY, Liu YH, Ishii M, Sangiorgi FO, Rauchman M, Sucov HM, Maas RL, Maxson RE. Msx2 is an immediate downstream effector of Pax3 in the development of the murine cardiac neural crest. Development. 2002 Jan; 129(2):527-38. PMID: 11807043.
      View in: PubMed