The Fan Lab studies the molecular mechanisms that govern mammalian development, using the mouse as a model. They use a combination of biochemical, molecular, and genetic approaches to identify and characterize signaling molecules and pathways that control the development and maintenance of the musculoskeletal system.

The musculoskeletal system provides mechanical support for our posture and movement. How it arises during embryogenesis pertains to the basic problem of embryonic induction. How the components of this system are repaired after injury and maintained throughout life is of biological and clinical significance. The Fan Lab studies how this system is generated and maintained.