- Molecular and Cellular Biology
Research in my lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms of information flow in signal transduction networks controlling cell growth, survival, and metabolism. While traditional studies of signaling have focused on the identity of the proteins involved in such cascades and the nature of the interactions between them, we are studying how the activation dynamics of these pathways encode specific information for the cell. Our goal is to address the question of how specificity is achieved when the same small group of pathways (including ERK, Akt, AMPK, and mTOR) controls a diverse set of cellular behaviors (proliferation, growth, migration, apoptosis, autophagy, and differentiation). To decipher this signaling “code”, we combine computational models with live cell data from genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors for phosphorylation or transcription events. By tracking signaling events in many individual cells and associating them with corresponding cellular phenotypes and the activation of specific genes, we aim to identify temporal signaling programs that drive cell behaviors. This knowledge can then be used to improve the results of therapeutic interventions in cancer and other diseases, by predicting the cellular responses to signaling inhibitors.
Graduate Program Affiliations
- 2000 B.A. in Biological Sciences, Cornell University
- 2007 Ph.D. in Computational and Systems Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology