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A major part of research in Dr. Abasht’s lab has focused on studying Wooden Breast, a novel muscle disorder of unknown etiology in commercial broiler chickens. The most severe cases of the disease are characterized by extreme stiffness of the breast muscle (pectoralis major), which can be detected by manual palpation. Using a combination of methods, including transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq), histology, electron microscopy, and bioinformatics, Dr. Abasht’s lab investigates and hopes to identify factors causing this myopathy in modern broiler chickens. The lab group also studies genetic regulations of myogenesis and adiposity as they relate to healthy muscle growth in chickens. We use multidisciplinary approaches to track the flow of biological information from DNA to RNA and protein, and eventually its impact on metabolism at cellular and molecular levels.