Karen M. Lyons, Ph.D.


Professor, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Member, Brain Research Institute


Cell & Developmental Biology GPB Home Area

Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Genetics & Genomics GPB Home Area

JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area

Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology GPB Home Area

Awards and Honors:

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughn Award

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Symposium on Fracture Repair Elected Co-chair

The Scleroderma Foundation Marta Marx Eradicate Scleroderma Award

Japanese Society for Cartilage Biology Distinguished Lecture Award

David Paul Kane Scholar (UCLA)

UCLA Dwyer Award for Excellence in Research

Contact Information

Work Phone Number: (310) 825-5480

Laboratory Address:

615 Charles E Young Dr. South
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:

Main Office
UCLA Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center
615 Charles E Young Dr. South
Los Angeles, CA 90049
615 Charles E Young Dr. South
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Research Interest: Growth Factor Signaling in Mammalian Development and Disease Many of the inductive events associated with vertebrate development are mediated by diffusible signals. The involvement of members of the transforming growth factor ß family of growth regulatory molecules in aspects of cell cycle control, gene expression, and cell-cell interactions is well established. Members of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) subgroup of TGFß-related molecules have been implicated in many key signalling events in vertebrates and invertebrates. We are using the mouse as a model organism to study the roles of these regulatory factors during vertebrate development. We are interested in identifying the cellular targets of action of TGFß-related genes in a developmental context. Our approach is to take advantage of the genetic capabilities the mouse system offers, including transgenic and gene targeting technologies. We are also using organ and cell culture strategies to define the molecular mechanism of action of TGFß-related molecules in a biologically relevant context. These efforts have been facilitated by the recent identification of receptors for specific BMPs. We are currently developing cell culture systems and in vivo models to study BMP-mediated receptor signalling.