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Cell Adhesion, Signaling & Metabolism

In order for cells, tissues and organs to survive and function in an integrated fashion, they must have a way of communicating. This can involve mechanical signaling and chemical signaling.

Through research, our faculty investigates:

  • The proteins involved in regulating the interactions between epithelial cells and the extracellular matrix
  • How the extracellular matrix is assembled and remodeled
  • How cells in a tissue polarize relative to each other
  • How organelles within a cell communicate with each other and coordinate their activities
  • How mitochondrial and nuclear genetic systems coordinate with each other to meet the cells energy demands

Congcong He Lab

Our work is centered on autophagy, a lysosomal degradation pathway essential for nutrient recycling, cellular maintenance and physiological function. Autophagy is induced by various stress conditions and allows cells to adapt to changing nutrient and energy demands through protein catabolism. Malfunction of autophagy is implicated in a variety of diseases, such as cancer, neurodegeneration, infection and aging.

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Luisa Iruela-Arispe Lab

We focus on elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate vascular morphogenesis during development and in disease.


Luisa Iruela-Arispe

Brian Mitchell Lab

Our goal is to understand the integration of signaling and cytoskeletal dynamics on diverse developmental processes including centriole amplification, cell migration and cell polarity.

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Richard Scarpulla Lab

We are looking to further define the molecular interactions and physiological functions of transcriptional activators and co-activators involved in the nuclear control of the respiratory apparatus.

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