Ca2+, lipid second messenger and small GTPase signaling pathways; Control of cell polarity, chemotaxis, and collective migration as well as cell proliferation and differentiation decisions
I am interested in understanding the precise molecular events that allow cells to transition from G1 to S phase and enter the cell cycle. Specifically, I use quantitative and systems-level approaches to study the roles of CDKs and the ubiquitin ligases APC and SCF in regulating the G1/S checkpoint
My research interests are understanding mTOR signaling and nutrient sensing from a global perspective as well as elucidating the mechanism of nutrient sensing at the molecular level
In order to migrate as a cohesive group, cells must coordinate their polarization signals, migratory direction and speed, maintenance of cell-cell junctions, and cytoskeletal activity all at both the single cell and group levels. I am interested in how cells within a group are able to achieve this remarkable level of coordination.
Collective endothelial cell migration Collective cell migration is required for morphogenesis during development and for repair following injury. Directional signals guiding collective cell movement are thought to be transmitted mechanically between cells via cell-cell junctions. Using monolayers of primary human endothelial cells (HUVEC) as a model system, I study how forces applied to the junction locally by one cell are sensed by its neighbor and converted into biochemical signals.
After being transcribed, mRNA can go through a variety of processes that control its translation into protein. I'm interested in using a variety of tools to visualize mRNA in fixed and living cells in order to learn more about the various aspects of translation regulation
I am interested in the molecular mechanism of mast cell secretion. Mast cells are key players in acute allergic reactions and allergic asthma. Upon activation by antigen stimulation, mast cells release their granule content, such as histamine.
I am interested in understanding the signaling network in systems level. How signaling proteins induce signaling cascades, cross-regulate, and are correlated with each other.
The rate of cell division is largely dictated by the amount of time individual cells spend in a non-dividing state before entering a cycle of cell division. My research focuses on dissecting the signaling pathways regulating cell-cycle entry.
I am developing fluorescent reporters to measure real-time changes in translation rates (regulated via untranslated regions of mRNA molecules or UTRs) in single cells. We are currently applying these reporters to the investigation of gene-specific translation control in the mammalian cell cycle. In a separate project, I am using the evolutionary history of the protein-coding human genome to identify conserved modules in signaling pathways and discover novel functions for uncharacterized human proteins.
Joint with the Wysocka lab
How do cells response to extracellular stimuli? How are the signals beautifully orchestrated inside of a cell? To understand the questions, I'm studying 2 signal-induced cellular responses. One is looking at primary cilia disassembly by growth factor signal using single-cell imaging techniques. Another project is investigating how mTORC1 is activated by amino acid stimulation using biochemical approaches.
During maturation, hippocampal neurons form a single axon and multiple dendrites. My work assesses the role of trafficking in this axon specification decision. Specifically, I'm examining the selective trafficking of Kinesin 1 into certain neurites and well as actin waves that move up and down the neurites of polarizing cells.