Dr. Mortlock is Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Human Genetics Research (CHGR) and the Departments of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Pediatrics, in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.   He has extensive expertise in mouse and human genetic mapping and disease gene cloning, mammalian developmental biology, gene structure, transgenic models, and gene expression analysis.  He has specific expertise in expression and function of BMP family genes in animal development and has pioneered the study of long-range cis-regulatory elements that control expression of the Gdf6, Bmp2 and Bmp4 genes and in particular, the regulation of Bmp2 in ossifying tissues.  He has done pioneering studies with engineered BAC constructs to study gene expression in animal models and cell lines.  He has technical expertise in analyzing in vivo and in vitro gene expression including luciferase assays, transgene expression and function, mouse genetics, genotyping and molecular biology, mouse embryology and histology, and osteoblast development.  As co-director of the Transgenic Mouse / ES Cell Shared Resource, he provides review oversight for new project applications and also operates the BAC Recombineering and blot hybridization services for the TMESCSR.    


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Identification of a distant cis-regulatory element controlling pharyngeal arch-specific expression of zebrafish gdf6a/radar. Reed NP, Mortlock DP (2010) Dev Dyn 239(4): 1047-60
    › Primary publication · 20201106 (PubMed)
  2. Control of BMP gene expression by long-range regulatory elements. Pregizer S, Mortlock DP (2009) Cytokine Growth Factor Rev 20(5-6): 509-15
    › Primary publication · 19900834 (PubMed) · PMC2787762 (PubMed Central)
  3. Identification of an ancient Bmp4 mesoderm enhancer located 46 kb from the promoter. Chandler KJ, Chandler RL, Mortlock DP (2009) Dev Biol 327(2): 590-602
    › Primary publication · 19159624 (PubMed) · PMC2846791 (PubMed Central)
  4. Relevance of BAC transgene copy number in mice: transgene copy number variation across multiple transgenic lines and correlations with transgene integrity and expression. Chandler KJ, Chandler RL, Broeckelmann EM, Hou Y, Southard-Smith EM, Mortlock DP (2007) Mamm Genome 18(10): 693-708
    › Primary publication · 17882484 (PubMed) · PMC3110064 (PubMed Central)
  5. Assessing the functional characteristics of synonymous and nonsynonymous mutation candidates by use of large DNA constructs. Eeds AM, Mortlock D, Wade-Martins R, Summar ML (2007) Am J Hum Genet 80(4): 740-50
    › Primary publication · 17357079 (PubMed) · PMC1852709 (PubMed Central)
  6. Bmp2 transcription in osteoblast progenitors is regulated by a distant 3' enhancer located 156.3 kilobases from the promoter. Chandler RL, Chandler KJ, McFarland KA, Mortlock DP (2007) Mol Cell Biol 27(8): 2934-51
    › Primary publication · 17283059 (PubMed) · PMC1899916 (PubMed Central)

Featured Affiliations

  • Mortlock Lab
    Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biop
View all affiliations

Contact Information

519 Light Hall Center for Human Genetics Research
2215 Garland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37232-0700
United States
615-936-1671 (p)
615-343-8619 (f)


genomics (5), developmental biology (12), human (1), transcription factors (2), Gdf6 (1), Bmp4 (1), long-range gene regulation (1), enhancers (1), bone and joint development (1), mouse and zebrafish genetics (1), BAC transgenes (1), Bmp2 (1)