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Center for Human Genomics and Precision Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Webb Lab is apart of the CHGPM and the Department of Pediatrics - Division of Genetics and Metabolism in the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and focuses on Rare Undiagnosed Genetic Diseases. 

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An Overview of our Current Research

The Webb Lab focuses on identifying genetic variants and the pathophysiology of rare, Mendelian disorders. We have a particular interest in undiagnosed and rare diseases, Moebius Syndrome and related facial weakness conditions, and finally mitochondrial disorders. Within the Webb lab, we have developed models of human diseases using cellular and animal models. Dr. Webb has developed mouse models of Mars2 deficiency and hereditary congenital facial paresis as well as induced pluripotent stem cell models of MARS2 and POU4F1. These models are used to elucidate the altered transcriptomes and molecular networks in these disorders.

Latest Publications

Inability to move one's face dampens facial expression perception

Humans rely heavily on facial expressions for social communication to convey their thoughts and emotions and to understand them in others. One prominent but controversial view is that humans learn to recognize the significance of facial expressions by mimicking the expressions of others. This view predicts that an inability to make facial expressions (e.g., facial paralysis) would result in reduced perceptual sensitivity to others' facial expressions. To test this hypothesis, we developed a diverse battery of sensitive emotion recognition tasks to characterize expression perception in individuals with Moebius Syndrome (MBS), a congenital neurological disorder that causes facial palsy. 

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