Signal transduction, synthetic biology, systems biology, structural biology, protein-protein interactions, cell motility, MAP kinase cascades, GTPase pathways
Wendell Lim’s Lab is working on creating a detailed instruction manual – a sort of user’s guide – that explains how biochemical circuits control a cell’s function and ultimately its fate. The long-term goal is to use the instruction manual to help scientists design cells to deliver therapeutic payloads, repair cancerous lesions, or attack microscopic pathogens. Cells are complex mechanical and sensing devices that can carry out highly complex tasks, such as secreting antibodies or forming repair structures like blood clots and bone. Cells contain signaling pathways that take in and integrate vast amounts of information about the cells’ environment, and they process and use this information to make complex decisions about how to respond to changing environmental conditions. If more is understood about how these processes work, there is the potential to change cells and help solve problems in biotechnology or health, and to treat disease more rationally.