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Michael Edidin Lab
The Michael Edidin Lab studies membrane dynamics and organization in cells from lymphocytes to epithelial cells using biochemistry, biophysics (especially fluorescence methods), cell biology, biochemistry and immunology. We are interested in transplantation immunology, particularly in the cell biology of class I MHC molecules, and are working to understand the relationship between plasma membrane biophysics and antigen presentation by MHC molecules. We are currently studying the clustering of T cell receptors for the antigen TCR.
Michael Wolfgang Laboratory
The Wolfgang Laboratory is interested in understanding the metabolic properties of neurons and glia at a mechanistic level in situ. Some of the most interesting, enigmatic and understudied cells in metabolic biochemistry are those of the nervous system. Defects in these pathways can lead to devastating neurological disease. Conversely, altering the metabolic properties of the nervous system can have surprisingly beneficial effects on the progression of some diseases. However, the mechanisms of these interactions are largely unknown.
We use biochemical and molecular genetic techniques to study the molecular mechanisms that the nervous system uses to sense and respond to metabolic cues. We seek to understand the neurometabolic regulation of behavior and physiology in obesity, diabetes and neurological disease.
Current areas of study include deconstructing neurometabolic pathways to understand the biochemistry of the nervous system and how these metabolic pathways impact animal beh...avior and physiology, metabolic heterogeneity and the evolution of metabolic adaptation. view more
The Nicholas Flavahan Lab primarily researches the cellular interactions and subcellular signaling pathways that control normal vascular function and regulate the initiation of vascular disease. We use biochemical and molecular analyses of cellular mediators and cell signaling mechanisms in cultured vascular cells, while also conducting physiological assessments and fluorescent microscopic imaging of signaling systems in isolated blood vessels. A major component of our research involves aterioles, tiny blood vessles that are responsible for controlling the peripheral resistance of the cardiovascular system, which help determine organ blood flow.
Research in the Nicola Heller Lab focuses on the immunobiology of macrophages. Our team explores how these cells impact diseases with an inflammatory element, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Using a variety of techniques, including molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, mouse models and more, we study the role of IL-4/IL-13 signaling in asthma and allergic disease, as well as the role of alternatively activated macrophages (AAM) in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. Currently, we are researching the links between asthma and obesity, with a focus on the roles of gender and race.
The Paul Talalay Laboratory examines the molecular mechanisms involved in chemoprotection against cancer. The susceptibility of animals and their cells to the mutagenic and neoplastic effects of chemical carcinogens and reactive oxygen intermediates depends on the balance between the activities of enzymes involved in the metabolic activation and inactivation (detoxication) of these agents. The activities of these enzymes are regulated by a wide variety of chemical agents, and these modulations result in protection against cancer. We have developed animal and cell culture systems to analyze the molecular signals that regulate detoxication enzymes. With the help of these systems, we have identified and isolated from edible plants (e.g., vegetables) potent enzyme inducers. These minor dietary constituents block chemical carcinogenesis. We use biochemical, molecular and cell biological techniques to develop strategies for reducing the risk of developing cancer by identifying phytochemi...cal enzyme inducers in edible plants and evaluating their efficacy in cells, animals and humans. view more
Photini Sinnis Lab
Research in the Photini Sinnis Lab explores the fundamental biology of the pre-erythrocytic stages of malaria. Our team is focused on the sporozoite stage of Plasmodium, which is the infective stage of the malaria parasite, and the liver stages into which they develop. We use classic biochemistry, mutational analysis, and in vitro and in vivo assays to better understand the molecular interactions between the parasite and its mosquito and mammalian hosts. Our goal is to translate our findings to help develop treatments and a vaccine that target the malaria parasite.
Ryuya Fukunaga Lab
The Fukunaga Lab uses multidisciplinary approaches to understand the cell biology, biogenesis and function of small silencing RNAs from the atomic to the organismal level.
The lab studies how small silencing RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), are produced and how they function. Mutations in the small RNA genes or in the genes involved in the RNA pathways cause many diseases, including cancers. We use a combination of biochemistry, biophysics, fly genetics, cell culture, X-ray crystallography and next-generation sequencing to answer fundamental biological questions and also potentially lead to therapeutic applications to human diseases.
The Gabelli lab research is focused on structural, mechanistic and functional aspects of enzyme activation that play a role in the biology of human diseases such as cancer, parasitic infection and cardiovascular disease. Their work seeks to:
1. Understand how molecular events at the recognition level coordinate and trigger events in the cells
2. Translate structural and mechanistic information on protein:protein interactions at the cytoplasmic level into preventive and therapeutic treatment for human disease.
To achieve a comprehensive understanding, they are studying cytoplasmic protein-protein interactions involved in regulation of pathways such as PI3K and Sodium Voltage gated channels. Their research integrates structural biology and chemical biology and it is focused on drug discovery for targeted therapies.
Sean T. Prigge Lab
Current research in the Sean T. Prigge Lab explores the biochemical pathways found in the apicoplast, an essential organelle found in malaria parasites, using a combination of cell biology and genetic, biophysical and biochemical techniques. We are particularly focused on the pathways used for the biosynthesis and modification of fatty acids and associated enzyme cofactors, including pantothenate, lipoic acid, biotin and iron-sulfur clusters. We want to better understand how the cofactors are acquired and used, and whether they are essential for the growth of blood-stage malaria parasites.
Sean Taverna Laboratory
The Taverna Laboratory studies histone marks, such as lysine methylation and acetylation, and how they contribute to an epigenetic/histone code that dictates chromatin-templated functions like transcriptional activation and gene silencing. Our lab uses biochemistry and cell biology in a variety of model organisms to explore connections between gene regulation and proteins that write and read histone marks, many of which have clear links to human diseases like leukemia and other cancers. We also investigate links between small RNAs and histone marks involved in gene silencing.