Laura Buttitta, Ph.D.
We study how the cell cycle is regulated to speed up, slow down or stop cell proliferation at the right places and times during development.
Irina L. Grigorova, Ph.D.
My research interests are directed at understanding dynamic regulation and control of humoral (antibody) immune response by combining standard immunological approaches with intravital 2-photon imaging of lymphocyte migration and interactions, quantitative analysis of the data and modeling.
Ajit P. Joglekar, Ph.D
We study the biophysics of genome inheritance during cell division: how a dividing cell ensures that each daughter cell inherits exactly one copy of each chromosome. Our focus is on the kinetochore: a multi-protein machine that moves and segregates chromosomes during cell division. While work in the field pursued the structures, biochemical properties, and cell biological interactions of individual kinetochore proteins, our goal has been to understand how the protein components of the kinetochore are assembled as a machine, and how they function together in the context of this organization. We use an interdisciplinary approach that combines in vitro experimentation (using DNA origami to reconstitute the kinetochore) and in vivo studies (developing and using cutting-edge fluorescence microscopy methods) to determine the function and regulation of the kinetochore.
Ann L. Miller, Ph.D.
We are investigating how cytokinesis works in intact epithelial tissues, where the dividing cell gives and receives inputs from its neighboring cells. We know that localized activation of RhoA, a small GTPase that promotes actomyosin contractility, is required both for cytokinesis and for proper cell-cell junctions. We don’t fully understand the signaling pathways that lead to proper localized Rho GTPase activity. Therefore, our lab is focused on characterizing novel mechanisms by which localized Rho GTPase activity is regulated both at the cell division site and at cell-cell junctions. Using live high-resolution confocal microscopy in Xenopus laevis (frog) embryos where potential players in Rho GTPase regulation have been perturbed, we are dissecting the mechanisms that regulate cytokinesis and cell-cell junctions in space and time.
Elizabeth Speliotes, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have reached epidemic proportions throughout the world but are poorly understood and have limited treatment options. Our laboratory uses human population based approaches (genome wide association studies, sequencing, genetic epidemiology) and is developing cell culture/mouse models of disease to elucidate the mechanisms that predispose individuals to developing these and related metabolic diseases. Through this work, we aim to better diagnose, manage, and treat obesity and NAFLD in the future.
Cristen J. Willer, Ph.D
Our research group focuses on the analysis of high-throughput genetic and sequencing data to understand the genetic basis of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. We have identified several hundred new genetic regions associated with lipid levels and obesity using whole-genome association studies and are now moving towards fine-mapping these loci to identify functional genetic variants. We are also performing whole exome and whole genome sequencing studies to identify rare genetic variants with potentially large effects on disease risk.