Integrative Cell Signaling Faculty

Karen Anderson The research in our laboratory is directed toward understanding the molecular mechanisms of normal and aberrant protein signaling and the effects of selectively guided anticancer drugs such as Iressa and Gleevec. Important molecular targets include EGFR, HER-2, PDGFRb, and c-kit receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs).   We are particularly interested in examining the early events in cell signaling such as RTK autophosphorylation and downstream signal propagation.  We are developing new molecular tools using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and rapid cellular quench methodologies to aid in our investigations.
Anton Bennett The broad focus of our laboratory is towards understanding how signaling pathways that are regulated by protein phosphorylation are controlled and what the consequences are when these pathways become dysregulated in the pathogenesis of human disease. Specifically, we study a family of enzymes known as protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). We use an integrative approach employing biochemistry, cell biology and mouse genetics to uncover the function of PTPs at the cellular level and in the intact organism. By using this integrated strategy we are able to understand how PTPs participate in intracellular signal transduction pathways that control cell growth, differentiation and metabolism.
Titus Boggon We focus on understanding how signal transduction pathways function at the atomic level, and the mechanisms by which these pathways become altered in disease. Major topics of interest: Regulation of cytokine signaling by the Janus kinases, intermolecular interactions of proteins involved in integrin signaling pathways, signal transduction in polycystic kidney disease.
David Calderwood Our interests center on signaling through the integrin family of cell adhesion receptors. Integrin signaling regulates cell shape, adhesion and motility, furthermore cross-talk with other signal transduction cascades allows local environmental cues sensed by integrins to modulate a diverse array of signaling activities and control cell proliferation, differentiation, and death. Integrins are transmembrane adhesion molecules that connect extracellular ligands to intracellular signaling complexes and the cytoskeleton, and a notable feature is that intracellular signals that impinge on the integrin cytoplasmic domains also regulate integrin affinity for extracellular ligands. Integrins therefore signal in two directions across the membrane, into and out-of the cell. We use biochemical, cell biological and structural approaches to investigate the protein-protein interactions that govern integrin signaling and to assess the functional consequences of specific interactions.
Craig Crews The Crews lab is interested in exploring various signaling transduction pathways using small molecules, including both biologically active natural products and artificially designed bioactive compounds. Of particular interest is the MAPK/MEK/Raf kinase cascade and the role of Wnt signaling in angiogenesis.
Elias Lolis The lab’s focus is understanding how agonist binding to a receptor induces a signal through the cell membrane. Specifically, we are interested in chemokines and their receptors as well as the cytokine macrophage migration inhibitor factor (MIF) and its effect on activating multiple receptors.
Angus Nairn The focus of this lab is on the molecular actions of dopamine in the basal ganglia. The disruption of normal dopaminergic neurotransmission is known to underlie certain neurological diseases, including schizophrenia, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease, and is involved in the actions of various drugs of abuse.
Marina Picciotto Intracellular signaling pathways mediate changes in synaptic strength and neuronal function that underlie changes in behavior. Our laboratory is interested in the molecular basis of behavioral changes related to psychiatric illness. We therefore study intracellular signaling pathways downstream of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and receptors for the neuropeptide galanin in order to determine how activation of these molecules leads to long-term changes in cellular- and circuit-level function in the brain, and ultimately to drug addiction, depression and aversive learning.
Gary Rudnick We are studying regulation of serotonin transport by cyclic-GMP, a process affected by mutations found to be associated with psychiatric and developmental disorders.  Regulation of the serotonin transporter apparently occurs by phosphorylation at an unlikely location that may be involved in protein conformational changes.
Joseph Schlessinger Our laboratory is using a variety of genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches to elucidate the intracellular signaling pathways that are activated by RTK. We also explore the role played by deregulated and aberrantly activated RTKs and their intracellular signaling pathways in the control of cancer and other human pathologies. Our goal is to decipher the intercellular molecular circuitry including both positive and negative signals that govern RTK dependent cellular processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, cell survival and metabolism normally and in human pathologies.
William C. Sessa Our laboratory is interested in the role of microdomains in regulating the fidelity of signal transduction in vascular endothelial cells using a variety of cell biological, molecular and biochemical techniques and genetic models in vivo.  We are interested in how growth factors and mechanical stress couples to activation of nitric oxide synthesis via phosphorylation and protein-protein interactions.  We also are interested in growth factor regulation of miRNAs, ER biogenesis/cholesterol metabolism and protein palmitoylation as they pertain to cardiovascular diseases or cancer.   
Ben Turk We are interested in understanding how protein kinases target specific protein substrates, thus ensuring proper transmission of intracellular signals. We take an interdisciplinary approach combining structural biology, combinatorial library screening, biochemistry, and cell biology to unravel the basic rules by which kinases are directed to their substrates in living cells. Understanding these rules allows us to identify new substrates for kinases through bioinformatics, and to probe the functional consequences of disrupting kinase-substrate interactions.
Dianqing (Dan) Wu We study the signaling mechanisms activated by chemoattractants and Wnts and how these signaling mechanisms function in physiological and pathophysiological processes including atherosclerosis, arthritis, tumorigenesis, metabolic and bone diseases.  A combination of molecular and cell biological, biochemical, chemical biological, transgenic, functional genomics, and proteomic approaches are being used in our study.