Some of the most exciting findings of the past decade have deciphered processes involved in biological signal transduction. These are processes by which cells communicate among themselves. Much is known about how cells detect the presence of hormones, contact with other cells, or the presence of nutrientsor other environmental signals, and how the cells respond to these signals by changing metabolism or gene expression. These studies have identified the role and nature of viral oncogenes, which, when expressed in a cell infected with a tumor virus, disrupt normal controls over growth properties and result in a transformed or tumor cell. These viral oncogenes are derived from normal cellular regulatory proteins, and this fact allowed deduction of the normal signaling pathways. The role of protein kinases and alterations in calcium levels in signalling pathways have been established, in part by contributions from researchers at the University of Virginia.
Ongoing research centers on the identification and characterization of proteins that participate in various central signaling pathways and the mechanism by which these proteins interact with or influence their targets, such as the cytoskeleton or specific gene expression. Our researchers study both the normal signaling pathways in response to hormones and other environmental signals, and the perturbation of these pathways in cancer cells. Numerous studies focus on the circulatory system and the molecular aspects of the control of blood pressure and muscle function.
Basic and translational brain tumor research
Mechanisms of neuromodulation in central neurons
Circuit mechanisms of sleep and epilepsy
Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders
Signaling Pathways and Breast Cancer
Engineering biomaterials as cellular microenvironments
Role of Arf family GTPases in vesicular transport and cytoskeleton assembly.
Cell Biology of bacterial pathogenesis.
The innate immune response to bacterial infection.
Systems Genetics Approaches to Understand Cardiometabolic Traits
Molecular genetics; development and function of neurotransmitter-synthesizing neurons in Drosophila
Translating our discoveries in the microcirculation to tangible benefits in patients.
Systems-biology approaches to cancer biology and virology.
The Role of Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission in Tumorigenesis.
Role of lipid oxidation products in inflammation and vascular immunology in atherosclerosis and diabetes
Chemical biology of sphingosine 1-phosphate
Transcriptional Regulation by NFKB
Cell signaling, stem cell biology, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of blood and breast cancers
Obesity and Aging
Identification of Factors and Mechanisms that Regulate the Stability of Late Stage Atherosclerotic Lesions and the Probability of Thromboembolic Events Including a Heart Attack or Stroke
Systems biology, infectious disease, cancer, toxicology, metabolic engineering
Nuclear Transport, Signaling, and Cancer
Tissue Engineering and Regeneration, Computational Systems Biology, Vascular Growth and Remodeling, Stem Cell Therapies
Exploring epilepsy circuits then preventing seizures using gene therapies. Developing drug-inducible genetic switches for insulin replacement gene therapies.
Structure and assembly of HIV, virus/host interactions, structural biology of the innate immune system
Novel therapeutic approaches to brain cancers and to other neurologic diseases
Chromosome segregation and aneuploidy in meiosis and mitosis
Roles of complex signaling networks involved in the regulation of cardiovascular function and disease
Molecular and genetic determinants of atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disorders.
Regulation of neural stem cell proliferation during development and adulthood
Mechanisms of chromosome segregation in Mitosis and generation of Chromosomal Instability in tumors
Molecular Mechanisms of Early Vertebrate Development and Morphogenesis. Application to Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Analytical Neurochemistry; Dopamine and Serotonin Neurotransmission in Drosophila; Mechanisms of rapid adenosine signaling in rodents
Endosomal function and dysfunction in neurons. Development of the nervous system: cytoskeleton and membrane traffic in axon and dendrite growth.
Regulation of Gene Expression, Development and Tumor Progression by TGF beta Signaling
Neural Circuits in Healthy and Diseased Brains
Early detection, cancer prevention, and tumor microenvironment