Extracellular matrix formation in cartilage has been the main subject of Dr. Vertel's research. The emphasis on intracellular events in subcellular compartments reveals underlying mechanisms for the synthesis, processing and quality control of cartilage matrix molecules and other secreted or membrane proteins in normal cells, and as the basis of disease. Immunohistochemical, biochemical, and molecular approaches are used in conjunction with live cell imaging to develop a broad view. Immunolocalization at the levels of light and electron microscopy is used to visualize coordinate biosynthesis and matrix deposition, while biochemical studies provide complementary information about processing and biosynthetic intermediates of matrix molecules. Transfection experiments utilizing genetic constructs are combined with live cell imaging studies of GFP-tagged versions of the proteins. Specific attention has been directed to models of chondrodysplasias and cataracts.