- Spatio-temporal dynamics of signaling networks in metastasis and immune cell interactions
- Molecules for imaging and manipulation of protein activity in living cells and animals
Our lab focuses on two synergistic areas: developing molecular tools to visualize and control signaling in living cells, and questions re the specialized cell biology of blood cells. Our biological studies center on clinically important cell behaviors -- phagocytosis, platelet production, and immune cell interactions. We try to uncover basic signaling principles using these cells as models of chemical-mechanical interactions in signaling networks. We have begun studies of immune and cancer cell migration in the cancer microenvironment.
Our molecular imaging tools are focused on specific molecules for our biological studies, but we aim to produce broadly applicable approaches that others can use to visualize and control protein behavior. These include new biosensor designs that minimally perturb signaling, enabling us to examine low abundance proteins and to visualize multiple proteins simultaneously. We are developing means to control endogenous proteins with light, and engineering allosteric networks in proteins to confer control by light or small molecules. By precisely producing and visualizing localized signaling transients, we ask quantitative questions about signaling dynamics in cell decision making.
We are grateful to be working closely with other laboratories who model signaling dynamics, develop novel microscopes and quantify complex behavior in microscope images.
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