Benjamin Allen, Ph.D.
During embryogenesis a relatively small number of growth factors and morphogens instruct and coordinate proper organ formation and function. These secreted ligands elicit a multitude of cellular responses within the same tissue, including cell fate specification, differentiation, migration, survival, proliferation and apoptosis. Research in the Allen Laboratory is focused on understanding how these signaling pathways elicit such a diverse set of responses within the developing embryo and how their selective modulation might contribute to the treatment of HH-dependent pathologies. Specifically, we are investigating the regulation of Hedgehog (HH) signaling during embryonic development, and in adult tissue homeostasis, renewal and regeneration. We seek to understand how HH signaling is regulated in these normal processes and de-regulated in a number of HH-driven developmental diseases and childhood and adult cancers.
Julie Biteen, Ph.D.
My lab is interested in super-resolution bio-imaging based on single-molecule fluorescence. We are focused on adapting technologies for live-cell imaging and on developing new techniques to extend the capabilities of these methods.
Sundeep Kalantry, Ph.D.
Our research aims to define the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate X-chromosome inactivation, which results in transcriptional silencing of most genes along one of the two X-chromosomes in female mammals. While many forms of epigenetic modifications of chromatin correlate with silenced gene expression on the inactive-X, those that trigger gene silencing remain elusive. The identification of factors and mechanisms that bring about heritable changes in gene expression is the focus of our research.
Eric Martens, Ph.D.
My lab uses genomic, molecular genetic and biochemical techniques to investigate how human colonic bacteria recognize and degrade the myriad of complex glycans that constantly inundate our digestive tract. Using in vivo models like gnotobiotic mice, we seek to gain a deeper understanding of the microbiota's impact on digestive health and also uncover mechanistic insights into how our diet influences the composition and physiology of this key "microbial organ."
Yatrik Shah, Ph.D.
The major goal of our research program is to determine the molecular mechanisms by which oxygen sensing transcription factors regulate gastrointestinal homeostasis, inflammation and cancer. Cellular oxygen level is an important systemic signal that modulates metabolic activities and disease in the liver and intestine. Using the latest in mouse transgenic technology we have developed novel animal models to study accurately the role of oxygen sensitive transcription factors in the liver and intestine.
Jordan Shavit, M.D., Ph.D.
We study the genetics of human blood clotting disorders using zebrafish and have developed models of coagulation factor deficiency through genome editing with TALENs and CRISPR. Sensitized ethylnitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis and high throughput chemical suppressor screens are being performed on mutants with pathologic bleeding and clotting phenotypes. This strategy will identify genetic modifiers and novel molecules with the potential to improve the diagnostic and therapeutic tools available for treatment of affected patients.
Sarah Veatch, Ph.D.
There is increasing evidence that lipids can influence the organization and function of plasma membrane proteins. We are interested in understanding how the physical properties of lipids, lipid mixtures, and lipid-protein interactions influence plasma membrane heterogeneity and cellular responses.
Lei Yin, Ph.D.
The Yin laboratory is interested in the biochemistry and physiology of post-translational modifications in circadian rhythm and metabolism. One of major tasks in the lab is to map the ubiquitination codes for core clock proteins and study the in vivo biology of such modification. This work will advance our understanding the basic mechanisms underlying the circadian rhythms.