Phosphoinositide Spatial and Regulatory Mechanisms that Control Cellular Functions
Our laboratory is focused on understanding the signaling transduction and regulatory pathways that impact cancer progression and metastasis, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
A focus is on spatial organization of cellular signaling. Very recently spatial organization of cellular signals and messengers such as lipid messenger signals has been shown to be fundamental in regulating most, perhaps all, cellular events. The group currently focuses on cell polarization in control of migration and invasion in cancer cell metastasis, the role of membrane trafficking in regulation of growth receptor signaling and control of autophagy, and the control of gene expression by nuclear located lipid messengers. For these studies we use many interdisciplinary approaches, including cell biology, biochemistry, structural biology, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology and high-resolution fluorescence and electron microscopy.
Our research foundation is basic research, yet we also seek to define how the basic signaling and regulatory pathways that we have discovered are fundamental to a wide variety of human epithelial cancers, including breast, head and neck cancers and lung cancers.
The work focused on cell migration and autophagy has clear implications for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The role of nuclear lipid messengers in gene expression represents a fundamental discovery with implications to all aspects of human biology and disease.
An emphasis of our group is the training of young scholars in scientific research.