The Lane laboratory is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying chronic rhinosinusitis, particularly the pathogenesis of nasal polyps, as well as inflammation on the olfactory epithelium. Diverse techniques in molecular biology, immunology, and physiology are utilized to study epithelial cell innate immunity, olfactory loss, and response to viral infection. Ongoing work explores how epithelial cells of the sinuses and olfactory mucosa participate in the immune response and contribute to chronic inflammation. The lab creates and employs transgenic mouse models of chronic nasal/sinus inflammation to support research in this area. Collaborations are in place with the School of Public Health to explore mechanisms of anti-viral immunity in influenza and COVID-19.
The Brendan Cormack Laboratory studies fungal pathogenesis, particularly the host-pathogen interaction for the yeast pathogen Candida glabrata.
We are trying to identify virulence genes (genes that evolved in response to the host environment) by screening transposon mutants of C. glabrata for mutants that are specifically altered in adherence to epithelial cells, in survival in the presence of macrophages and PMNs. We also screen mutants directly in mice for those unable to colonize or persist in the normal target organs (liver, kidney and spleen).
We also focus research on a family of genes--the EPA genes--that allow the organism to bind to host cells. Our research shows that a subset of them are able to mediate adherence to host epithelial cells. We are trying to understand the contribution of this family to virulence in C. glabrata by figuring out what the ligand specificity is of different family members, how genes are normally regulated during infection, and what mechanism...s normally act to keep the genes transcriptionally silent and how that silence is regulated.view more
The Linda Smith-Resar Lab primarily investigates hematologic malignancy and molecular mechanisms that lead to cancer as well as sickle cell anemia. Recent studies suggest that education is an important and effective component of a patient blood management program and that computerized provider order entry algorithms may serve to maintain compliance with evidence-based transfusion guidelines. Another recent study indicated that colonic epithelial cells undergo metabolic reprogramming during their evolution to colorectal cancer, and the distinct metabolites could serve as diagnostic tools or potential targets in therapy or primary prevention.
Research in the Mark Donowitz Lab is primarily focused on the development of drug therapy for diarrheal disorders, intestinal salt absorption and the proteins involved including their regulation, and the use of human enteroids to understand intestinal physiology and pathophysiology. We study two gene families initially recognized by this laboratory: mammalian Na/H exchangers and the subgroup of PDZ domain containing proteins present in the brush border of epithelial cells called NHERF family. A major finding is that NHE3 exists simultaneously in different sized complexes in the brush border, which change separately as part of signal transduction initiated by mimics of the digestive process. Relevance to the human intestine is being pursued using mini-human intestine made from Lgr5+ stems cells made from intestinal biopsies and measuring function via two-photon microscopy.
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.
Researchers in the Nicholas Zachos Lab work to understand variations in protein trafficking that occur during pathophysiological conditions that cause ion and water transport that result in diarrhea. We recently identified a clathrin-independent endocytic pathway responsible for elevated intracellular calcium-mediated inhibition of NHE3 activity in intestinal epithelial cells. We use advanced imaging techniques, including confocal and multi-photon microscopy, to characterize protein trafficking of intestinal transporters. We also perform functional assays using fluorescent probes (ratiometric and non-ratiometric) to measure ion transport in cell culture models, intact intestinal tissues and human small intestinal enteroids.
We are interested in basic and translational studies looking at the effects of environmental exposures, including cigarette smoke and electronic cigarettes, on lung epithelial function. We are focused on mechanisms to reverse injury to promote lung health, primarily in the context of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).