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  • Andrew McCallion Laboratory

    The McCallion Laboratory studies the roles played by cis-regulatory elements (REs) in controlling the timing, location and levels of gene activation (transcription). Their immediate goal is to identify transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) combinations that can predict REs with cell-specific biological control--a first step in developing true regulatory lexicons.

    As a functional genetic laboratory, we develop and implement assays to rapidly determine the biological relevance of sequence elements within the human genome and the pathological relevance of variation therein. In recent years, we have developed a highly efficient reporter transgene system in zebrafish that can accurately evaluate the regulatory control of mammalian sequences, enabling characterization of reporter expression during development at a fraction of the cost of similar analyses in mice. We employ a range of strategies in model systems (zebrafish and mice), as well as analyses in the human population, to illu...minate the genetic basis of disease processes. Our long-term objective is to use these approaches in contributing to improved diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies in patient care. view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, genomics, gene regulation, nervous system

    Principal Investigator

    Andrew McCallion, Ph.D.

    Department

    Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology

  • Bioenergetics Core

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been a consistent observation in Parkinson's disease. To understand the consequences of Parkinson's disease causing genetic mutations on the function of mitochondria, the Bioenergetics Core B will provide the following analyses to the projects in the Udall Center at Johns Hopkins: (1) Measuring rates of respiration, oxygen consumption and ATP generation, (2) Measuring calcium dynamics, (3) Measuring reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species, (4) Measuring the activity of the electron transport chain enzymes and metabolic enzymes, and (5) Measuring plasma versus mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane permeability

    Research Areas: enzymes, cell biology, bioenergetics, respiration, Parkinson's disease, mitochondria, neurology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Valina Dawson, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Brady Maher Laboratory

    The Brady Maher Laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular and circuit pathophysiology that underlies neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Our lab focuses on trying to understand the function of genes that are associated with neurodevelopment problems by manipulating their expression level in utero during the peak of cortical development. We then use a variety of approaches and technologies to identify resulting phenotypes and molecular mechanisms including cell and molecular biology, optogenetics, imaging and electrophysiology.

    Current projects in the lab are focused on understanding the function of transcription factor 4 (TCF4), a clinically pleiotropic gene. Genome-wide association studies have identified genetic variants of TCF4 that are associated with schizophrenia, while autosomal dominant mutations in TCF4 result in Pitt Hopkins syndrome. Using our model system, we have identified several interesting electrophysiological and cell biological phenotypes as...sociated with altering the expression of TCF4 in utero. We hypothesize that these phenotypes represent cellular pathophysiology related to these disorders and by understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for these phenotypes we expect to identify therapeutic targets for drug development.
    view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, neurodevelopment, imaging, schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders, Pitt Hopkins syndrome, elecrophysiology, genomics, drugs, optogenetics, molecular biology, phenotypes

  • Chulan Kwon Laboratory

    The C. Kwon Lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing heart generation and regeneration.

    The limited regenerative capacity of the heart is a major factor in morbidity and mortality rates: Heart malformation is the most frequent form of human birth defects, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiovascular progenitor cells hold tremendous therapeutic potential due to their unique ability to expand and differentiate into various heart cell types.

    Our laboratory seeks to understand the fundamental biology and regenerative potential of multi-potent cardiac progenitor cells – building blocks used to form the heart during fetal development — by deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control their induction, maintenance, and differentiation. We are also interested in elucidating the maturation event of heart muscle cells, an essential process to generate adult cardiomyocytes, which occurs after terminal differentiation ...of the progenitor cells. We believe this knowledge will contribute to our understanding of congenital and adult heart disease and be instrumental for stem cell-based heart regeneration.

    We have developed several novel approaches to deconstruct the mechanisms, including the use of animal models and pluripotent stem cell systems. We expect this knowledge will help us better understand heart disease and will be instrumental for stem-cell-based disease modeling and interventions for of heart repair.

    Dr. Chulan Kwon is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Heart and Vascular Institute.
    view more

    Research Areas: stem cells, cell biology, heart regeneration, congenital heart disease, cardiovascular, molecular biology, cardiac cells

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Chulan Kwon, M.S., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Devreotes Laboratory

    The Devreotes Laboratory is engaged in genetic analysis of chemotaxis in eukaryotic cells. Our long-term goal is a complete description of the network controlling chemotactic behavior. We are analyzing combinations of deficiencies to understand interactions among network components and carrying out additional genetic screens to identify new pathways involved in chemotaxis. A comprehensive understanding of this fascinating process should lead to control of pathological conditions such as inflammation and cancer metastasis.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, chemotaxis, cancer, genomics, inflammation

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Peter Devreotes, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Espenshade Lab

    The Espenshade Lab uses a multi-organismal and multidisciplinary approach to understand how eukaryotic cells measure insoluble lipids and dissolved gases. We have chosen cholesterol and oxygen as our model molecules, based on their essential roles in cell function and the importance of their proper homeostasis for human health.

    Research Areas: cell biology, oxygen, eukaryotic cells, cholesterol

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Peter Espenshade, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Fu Lab

    The Fu Lab is a basic research lab that studies zinc transport, with a particular focus on which step in the zinc transport process may be modulated and how. Dr. Fu's lab uses parallel cell biology and proteomic approaches to understand how these physiochemical principles are applied to mammalian zinc transporters and integrated to the physiology of pancreatic beta cells. This research has implications for understanding how zinc transport is related to diabetes and insulin intake.

    Research Areas: cell biology, proteomics, zinc, pancreatic cells, diabetes

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Dax Fu, Ph.D.

    Department

    Physiology

  • Goley Lab

    The Goley Lab is broadly interested in understanding cellular organization and dynamic reorganization, with particular focus on the roles of the cytoskeleton in these phenomena. We use cell biological, biochemical, genetic and structural approaches to dissect cytoskeletal processes with the aim of understanding how they work in molecular detail. Currently, we are focused on investigating the mechanisms underlying cytokinesis in bacteria. A deep understanding of cytoskeletal function in bacteria will aid in the identification of targets for novel antibiotic therapies and in efforts in synthetic biology.

    Research Areas: biological chemistry, cell biology, genomics, cytoskeleton

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Erin Goley, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biological Chemistry

  • Greider Lab

    The Greider lab uses biochemistry to study telomerase and cellular and organismal consequences of telomere dysfunction. Telomeres protect chromosome ends from being recognized as DNA damage and chromosomal rearrangements. Conventional replication leads to telomere shortening, but telomere length is maintained by the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase is required for cells that undergo many rounds of divisions, especially tumor cells and some stem cells. The lab has generated telomerase null mice that are viable and show progressive telomere shortening for up to six generations. In the later generations, when telomeres are short, cells die via apoptosis or senescence. Crosses of these telomerase null mice to other tumor prone mice show that tumor formation can be greatly reduced by short telomeres. The lab also is using the telomerase null mice to explore the essential role of telomerase stem cell viability. Telomerase mutations cause autosomal dominant dyskeratosis congenita. People with ...this disease die of bone marrow failure, likely due to stem cell loss. The lab has developed a mouse model to study this disease. Future work in the lab will focus on identifying genes that induce DNA damage in response to short telomeres, identifying how telomeres are processed and how telomere elongation is regulated. view more

    Research Areas: telomerase, biochemistry, stem cells, cell biology, DNA

  • Haig Kazazian Lab

    The Kazazian Lab focuses on the biology of LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons. Retrotransposons are pieces of genomic DNA that have the ability to duplicate themselves and insert into a new genomic location. Current studies use innovative DNA sequencing to locate all human-specific L1s in any genome. By understanding L1 biology, we hope to better understand the role of these genomes and their behavior in complex human disease, such as cancer and mental disorders. The lab is also examining how to carry out gene therapy of hemophilia A using AAV vectors.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cancer, retrotransposons, DNA, genomics, mental disorders

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Haig Kazazian, M.D.

    Department

    Pediatrics

  • Holland Lab

    Research in the Holland Lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control accurate chromosome distribution and the role that mitotic errors play in human health and disease. We use a combination of chemical biology, biochemistry, cell biology and genetically engineered mice to study pathways involved in mitosis and their effect on cell and organism physiology. One of our major goals is to develop cell and animal-based models to study the role of cell-division defects in genome instability and tumorigenesis.

    Research Areas: cancer, genomics, molecular biology

  • Inoue Lab

    Complexity in signaling networks is often derived from co-opting one set of molecules for multiple operations. Understanding how cells achieve such sophisticated processing using a finite set of molecules within a confined space--what we call the "signaling paradox"--is critical to biology and engineering as well as the emerging field of synthetic biology.

    In the Inoue Lab, we have recently developed a series of chemical-molecular tools that allow for inducible, quick-onset and specific perturbation of various signaling molecules. Using this novel technique in conjunction with fluorescence imaging, microfabricated devices, quantitative analysis and computational modeling, we are dissecting intricate signaling networks.

    In particular, we investigate positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as symmetry breaking), as well as spatio-temporally compartmentalized signaling of Ras and membrane lipids such as phosphoinositides. In parallel,... we also try to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical pathways inside cells. Ultimately, we will generate completely orthogonal machinery in cells to achieve existing, as well as novel, cellular functions. Our synthetic, multidisciplinary approach will elucidate the signaling paradox created by nature. view more

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, chemotaxis, cancer, signaling paradox, signaling networks, molecular biology, synthetic biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Takanari Inoue, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Jeremy Nathans Laboratory

    The Jeremy Nathans Laboratory is focused on neural and vascular development, and the role of Frizzled receptors in mammalian development. We use gene manipulation in the mouse, cell culture models, and biochemical reconstitution to investigate the relevant molecular events underlying these processes, and to genetically mark and manipulate cells and tissues. Current experiments are aimed at defining additional Frizzled-regulated processes and elucidating the molecular mechanisms and cell biologic results of Frizzled signaling within these various contexts. Complementing these areas of biologic interest, we have ongoing technology development projects related to genetically manipulating and visualizing defined cell populations in the mouse, and quantitative analysis of mouse visual system function.

    Research Areas: vascular development, biochemistry, cell biology, neurodevelopment, genomics, Frizzled receptors, neuroscience

  • John Schroeder Lab

    The John Schroeder Lab focuses on understanding the role human basophils and mast cells play in allergic reactions, as it relates not only to their secretion of potent inflammatory mediators (e.g., histamine and leukotriene C4) but also to their production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We have long utilized human cells rather than cell lines in order to address the parameters, signal transduction and pharmacological aspects underlying clinically relevant basophil and mast cell responses. As a result, the lab has established protocols for rapidly isolating large numbers of basophils at high purity from human blood and for growing culture-derived mast cells/basophils from human progenitor cells. A variety of assays and techniques are also in place for concurrently detecting cytokines and mediators following a wide range of stimuli. These have facilitated the in vitro testing of numerous anti-allergic drugs for inhibitory activity on basophil and mast cell activation. The lab also studie...s counter-regulation between the IgE and innate immune receptors on human immature dendritic cell subtypes. view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, allergies, inflammation

    Principal Investigator

    John Schroeder, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • John T. Isaacs Laboratory

    While there has been an explosion of knowledge about human carcinogenesis over the last 2 decades, unfortunately, this has not translated into the development of effective therapies for either preventing or treating the common human cancers. The goal of the Isaacs’ lab is to change this situation by translating theory into therapy for solid malignancies, particularly Prostate cancer. Presently, a series of drugs discovered in the Isaacs’ lab are undergoing clinical trials in patients with metastatic cancer.

    The ongoing drug discovery in the lab continues to focus upon developing agents to eliminate the cancer initiating stem cells within metastatic sites of cancer. To do this, a variety of bacterial and natural product toxins are being chemically modified to produce “prodrugs” whose cytotoxicity is selectively activated by proteases produced in high levels only by cancer cells or tumor associated blood vessel cells. In this way, these prodrugs can be given systemically to metastati...c patients without un-acceptable toxicity to the host while being selectively activated to potent killing molecules within metastatic sites of cancer.

    Such a “Trojan Horse” approach is also being developed using allogeneic bone marrow derived Mesenchymal Stem cells which are genetically engineered to secrete “prodrugs” so that when they are infused into the patient, they selectively “home” to sites of cancers where the appropriate enzymatic activity is present to liberate the killing toxin sterilizing the cancer “neighborhood”.
    view more

    Research Areas: anti-cancer drugs, stem cell biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    John Isaacs, Ph.D.

    Department

    Oncology

  • Jungsan Sohn

    Dr. Sohn's lab is interested in understanding how biological stress-sensors are assembled, detect danger signals and initiate stress response.

    Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invading pathogens in higher eukaryotes. We are using in vitro quantitative biochemical assays and mutagenesis and x-ray crystallography to investigate the underlying operating principles of inflammasomes, a component of the innate immune system, to better understand biological stress sensors.

    Research Areas: immunology, cell biology, cancer, eukaryotes, stress sensors

  • Karen Reddy Laboratory

    The focus of the research in the Reddy Laboratory is to begin to understand how the nuclear periphery and other subcompartments contribute to general nuclear architecture and to specific gene regulation. Our research goals can be broken down into three complementary areas of research: understanding how genes are regulated at the nuclear periphery, deciphering how genes are localized (or "addressed") to specific nuclear compartments and how these processes are utilized in development and corrupted in disease.

    Research Areas: biological chemistry, cell biology, nuclear structure, epigenetics, gene regulation

    Principal Investigator

    Karen Reddy, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biological Chemistry

  • Katherine Wilson Lab

    Research in the Wilson Lab focuses on three components of nuclear lamina structure: lamins, LEM-domain proteins (emerin), and BAF.

    These three proteins all bind each other directly, and are collectively required to organize and regulate chromatin, efficiently segregate chromosomes and rebuild nuclear structure after mitosis. Mutations in one or more of these proteins cause a variety of diseases including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), cardiomyopathy, lipodystrophy and diabetes, and accelerated aging.

    We are examining emerin's role in mechanotransduction, how emerin and lamin A are regulated, and whether misregulation contributes to disease.

    Research Areas: cell biology, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), accelerated aging, chromatin, diabetes, genomics, emerin, nuclear lamina, lipodystrophy, cardiomyopathy

    Principal Investigator

    Katherine Wilson, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Laboratory of Richard L. Huganir

    The Laboratory of Richard L. Huganir is interested in the mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Our general approach is to study molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate neurotransmitter receptors and synapse function. We are currently focusing our efforts on the mechanisms that underlie the regulation of the glutamate receptors, the major excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain.

    Research Areas: synapses, neurotransmitters, cell biology, brain, molecular biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Richard Huganir, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Liudmila Cebotaru Lab

    Research in the Liudmila Cebotaru Lab studies cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutants. We also investigate corrector molecules that are currently in clinical trials to get a better understanding of their mechanism of action. A major focus of our research is on developing more efficient gene therapy vectors with the ultimate goal of developing a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases, gene therapy, corrector molecules

    Principal Investigator

    Liudmila Cebotaru, J.D., M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • 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.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, membrane biophysics, MHC molecules, antigens, T cells

    Principal Investigator

    Michael Edidin, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Miho Iijima Laboratory

    The Miho Iijima Laboratory works to make a further connection between cells' signaling events and directional movement. Our researchers have identified 17 new PH domain-containing proteins in addition to 10 previously known genes in the Dictyostelium cDNA and genome database. Five of these genes contain both the Dbl and the PH domains, suggesting these proteins are involved in actin polymerization. A PTEN homologue has also been identified in Dictyostelium that is highly conserved with the human gene. We are disrupting all of these genes and studying their roles in chemotaxis.

    Research Areas: cell biology, chemotaxis, genomics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Miho Iijima, M.S., Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Mikhail Pletnikov Laboratory

    The Mikhail Pletnikov Laboratory is interested in the neurobiology of neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. The major focus of our laboratory is to evaluate how adverse environmental factors and vulnerable genes interact to affect brain and behavior development. We address these experimental questions by using methods of cell and molecular biology, neuroimmunology, neurochemistry, psychopharmacology and developmental psychobiology. The current projects in our laboratory are: (1) Genetic risk factors in neuron-astrocyte interaction during neurodevelopment, (2) Gene-environment interplay in the pathogenesis of psychiatric conditions, and (3) The neuroimmune interactions in abnormal neurodevelopment

    Research Areas: autism, immunology, neurobiology, cell biology, neurodevelopment, developmental psychobiology, schizophrenia, pharmacology, chemistry, molecular biology

  • Pablo Iglesias Lab

    Investigators in the Pablo Iglesias Lab use analytic tools from control systems and dynamical systems to study cell biology, including biological signal transduction pathways. Our research interests include the ways cells interpret directional cues to guide their motion, regulatory mechanisms that control cell division, and the sensing and actuation that enable cells to maintain lipid homeostasis.

    Research Areas: homeostasis, cytokinesis, cell biology, chemotaxis, cell division

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Pablo Iglesias, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biomedical Engineering

  • Rong Li Lab

    Research in the Rong Li Lab aims to better understand the fundamental laws that regulate the behavior and interactions of cellular systems. Our team is currently examining how cells consolidate their damaged proteins and prevent them from spreading freely — work aimed at understanding how to better treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS. We are also applying insights gained through basic research to better understand diseases such as cancer and polycystic kidney disease.

    Research Areas: cell biology, ALS, kidney diseases, cancer, cellular dynamics, molecular biology, Alzheimer's disease

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Rong Li, M.S., Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • 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.

    Research Areas: biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, cell culture, genomics, RNA

    Principal Investigator

    Ryuya Fukunaga, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biological Chemistry

  • Sandra Gabelli Lab

    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.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, chemical biology, cell biology, structural biology, proteomics, cancer, diarrhea, diabetes, drugs, cellular signaling, inflammation, pharmacology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Sandra Gabelli, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Sarbjit Saini Lab

    The research in the Sarbjit Saini Laboratory focuses on IgE receptor biology and IgE receptor-mediated activation of blood basophils and mast cells. We have examined the role of IgE receptor expression and activation in allergic airways disease, anaphylaxis and chronic urticaria. Our research has been supported by the NIH, American Lung Association and the AAAAI. Our current research interests have focused mechanisms of diease in allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and also translational studies in chronic idiopathic urticaria.

    Research Areas: anaphylaxis, airway diseases, cell biology, asthma, allergies, chronic idiopathic urticaria

    Principal Investigator

    Sarbjit Saini, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • 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.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, enzymes, immunology, apicoplasts, malaria, molecular microbiology

  • 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.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, histone marks, cell biology, leukemia, cancer, epigenetics, eukaryotic cells, gene silencing, RNA

  • Seydoux Lab

    The Seydoux Lab studies the earliest stages of embryogenesis to understand how single-celled eggs develop into complex multicellular embryos. We focus on the choice between soma and germline, one of the first developmental decisions faced by embryos. Our goal is to identify and characterize the molecular mechanisms that activate embryonic development, polarize embryos, and distinguish between somatic and germline cells, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. Our research program is divided into three areas: oocyte-to-embryo transition, embryonic polarity and soma-germline dichotomy.

    Research Areas: cell biology, soma cells, genomics, germ cells, embryo, molecular biology

  • Shigeki Watanabe Lab

    Research in the Shigeki Watanabe Lab focuses on the cellular and molecular characterizations of rapid changes that occur during synaptic plasticity. Our team is working to determine the composition and distribution of proteins and lipids in the synapse as well as understand how the activity alters their distribution. Ultimately, we seek to discover how the misregulation of protein and lipid compositions lead to synaptic dysfunction. Our studies make use of cutting-edge electron microscopy techniques in combination with biochemical and molecular approaches.

    Research Areas: microscopy, cell biology, proteins, lipids, molecular biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Shigeki Watanabe, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Steven Beaudry Lab

    Research in the Steven Beaudry Lab aims to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind cardiovascular disease in pregnancy. Our goal is to develop more effective treatments and improve patient outcomes.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cardiovascular diseases, pregnancy, molecular biology

  • Stivers Lab

    The Stivers Lab is broadly interested in the biology of the RNA base uracil when it is present in DNA. Our work involves structural and biophysical studies of uracil recognition by DNA repair enzymes, the central role of uracil in adapative and innate immunity, and the function of uracil in antifolate and fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy. We use a wide breadth of structural, chemical, genetic and biophysical approaches that provide a fundamental understanding of molecular function. Our long-range goal is to use this understanding to design novel small molecules that alter biological pathways within a cellular environment. One approach we are developing is the high-throughput synthesis and screening of small molecule libraries directed at important targets in cancer and HIV-1 pathogenesis.

    Research Areas: biophysics, enzymes, cell biology, uracil, cancer, HIV, DNA, RNA

  • Susan Michaelis Lab

    The Michaelis Laboratory's research goal is to dissect fundamental cellular processes relevant to human health and disease, using yeast and mammalian cell biology, biochemistry and high-throughput genomic approaches. Our team studies the cell biology of lamin A and its role in the premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS). Other research focuses on the core cellular machinery involved in recognition of misfolded proteins. Understanding cellular protein quality control machinery will ultimately help researchers devise treatments for protein misfolding diseases in which degradation is too efficient or not enough.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, protein folding, lamin A, aging, genomics, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, yeast

    Principal Investigator

    Susan Michaelis, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology

  • Svetlana Lutsenko Laboratory

    The research in the Svetlana Lutsenko Laboratory is focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate copper concentration in normal and diseased human cells. Copper is essential for human cell homeostasis. It is required for embryonic development and neuronal function, and the disruption of copper transport in human cells results in severe multisystem disorders, such as Menkes disease and Wilson's disease. To understand the molecular mechanisms of copper homeostasis in normal and diseased human cells, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach involving biochemical and biophysical studies of molecules involved in copper transport, cell biological studies of copper signaling, and analysis of copper-induced pathologies using Wilson's disease gene knock-out mice.

    Research Areas: biophysics, biochemistry, menkes disease, Wilson's disease, cell biology, multisystem disorders, physiology, copper, molecular biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Svetlana Lutsenko, Ph.D.

    Department

    Physiology

  • The Hackam Lab for Pediatric Surgical, Translational and Regenerative Medicine

    David Hackam’s laboratory focuses on necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating disease of premature infants and the leading cause of death and disability from gastrointestinal disease in newborns.

    The disease strikes acutely and without warning, causing sudden death of the small and large intestines. In severe cases, tiny patients with the disease are either dying or dead from overwhelming sepsis within 24 hours. Surgical treatment to remove most of the affected gut results in lifelong short gut (short bowel) syndrome.

    The Hackam Lab has identified a critical role for the innate immune receptor toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis. The lab has shown that TLR4 regulates the development of the disease by tipping the balance between injury and repair in the stressed intestine of the premature infant. Developing an Artificial Intestine A key goal is to create, in the laboratory, new intestines made from patients’ own cells, which can then ...be implanted into the patient to restore normal digestive function. This innovative design could transform child development and quality of life in necrotizing enterocolitis survivors without the risks of conventional donor transplant. view more

    Research Areas: necrotizing enterocolitis, gut inflammation, stem cell biology, premature infants, TLR4

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    David Hackam, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Pediatrics
    Surgery

  • The Nauen Lab

    Epilepsy affects 1-3% of the population and can have a profound impact on general health, employment and quality of life. Medial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) develops in some patients following head injury or repeated febrile seizures. Those affected may first suffer spontaneous seizures many years after the initial insult, indicating that the neural circuit undergoes a slow pathologic remodeling over the interim. There are currently no methods of preventing the development of MTLE. It is our goal to better understand the process in order to slow, halt, and ultimately reverse it.

    Our laboratory draws on electrophysiology, molecular biology, and morphology to study the contribution of dysregulated neurogenesis and newborn neuron connectivity to the development of MTLE. We build on basic research in stem cell biology, hippocampal development, and synaptic plasticity. We work closely with colleagues in the Institute for Cell Engineering, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering..., and Radiology. As physician neuropathologists our grounding is in tissue alterations underlying human neurologic disease; using human iPSC-derived neurons and surgical specimens we focus on the pathophysiological processes as they occur in patients.

    By understanding changes in cell populations and morphologies that affect the circuit, and identifying pathologic alterations in gene expression that lead to the cell-level abnormalities, we hope to find treatment targets that can prevent the remodeling and break the feedback loop of abnormal activity > circuit change > abnormal activity.
    view more

    Research Areas: Medial temporal lobe epilepsy

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    David Nauen, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Pathology

  • Translational Neurobiology Laboratory

    The goals of the Translational neurobiology Laboratory are to understand the pathogenesis and cell death pathways in neurodegenerative disorders to reveal potential therapeutic targets for pharmaceutical intervention; to investigate endogenous survival pathways and try to induce these pathways to restore full function or replace lost neurons; and to identify biomarkers to mark disease function or replace lost neurons; and to identify biomarkers to mark disease progression and evaluate therapeutics. Our research projects focus on models of Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. We use a combination of cell biology and transgenic animal models of these diseases.

    Research Areas: Huntington's disease, neurodegenerative disorders, neurobiology, cell biology, Parkinson's disease

  • William B. Guggino Lab

    Work in the William B. Guggino Lab focuses on the structure of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and water channels; the molecular structure of transport proteins in epithelial cell membranes; and gene therapies to treat cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. We are also working to identify CF’s specific defect in chloride channel regulation. One recent study showed that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) enhances the protein expression of CFTR.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases, gene therapy, ion channels

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    William Guggino, Ph.D.

    Department

    Physiology

  • William B. Isaacs Laboratory

    Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men in the United States, although our understanding of the molecular basis for this disease remains incomplete. We are interested in characterizing consistent alterations in the structure and expression of the genome of human prostate cancer cells as a means of identifying genes critical in the pathways of prostatic carcinogenesis.

    We are focusing on somatic genomic alterations occurring in sporadic prostate cancers, as well as germline variations which confer increases in prostate cancer risk. Both genome wide and candidate gene approaches are being pursued, and cancer associated changes in gene expression analyses of normal and malignant prostate cells are being cataloged as a complementary approach in these efforts.

    It is anticipated that this work will assist in providing more effective methodologies to identify men at high risk for this disease, in general, and in particular, to identify new markers of prognostic... and therapeutic significance that could lead to more effective management of this common disease. view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, prostate cancer, molecular genetics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    William Isaacs, Ph.D.

    Department

    Urology

  • Xiao Group

    The objective of the Xiao Group's research is to study the dynamics of cellular processes as they occur in real time at the single-molecule and single-cell level. The depth and breadth of our research requires an interdisciplinary approach, combining biological, biochemical and biophysical methods to address compelling biological problems quantitatively. We currently are focused on dynamics of the E. coli cell division complex assembly and the molecular mechanism in gene regulation.

    Research Areas: biophysics, biochemistry, E. coli, cell biology, genomics, molecular biology

  • Yarema Laboratory

    The Yarema Lab uses chemical biology, molecular and cell biology, and materials science methods to study and manipulate glycosylation. The goal of our research is to better understand human disease while furthering carbohydrate-based therapies. Our laboratory's research goals are to (1) Develop sugar analogs into viable and versatile drug candidates, (2) Apply metabolic glycoengineering to tissue engineering and stem cell research, (3) Use non-invasive magnetic stimuli to probe the effects of glycoengineering (and also to treat neurological disorders), and (4) Extend our sugar-based drug candidates into animal models and the clinic

    Research Areas: carbohydrate-based therapies, chemical biology, stem cells, cell biology, materials science, neurological disorders, molecular biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Kevin Yarema, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biomedical Engineering

  • Zack Wang Lab

    The Wang lab focuses on the signals that direct the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, such as induced-pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, into hematopoietic and cardiovascular cells. Pluripotent stem cells hold great potential for regenerative medicine. Defining the molecular links between differentiation outcomes will provide important information for designing rational methods of stem cell manipulation.

    Research Areas: pluripotent stem cells, stem cells, molecular genetics, stem cell biology, gene therapy

    Principal Investigator

    Zack Wang, Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

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