Category: Site SCVRB


Akiko Hata, Ph.D.

Hata

Research Interests:
Mechanisms of growth factor signaling in the control of cell growth and differentiation of vascular cells

Summary:
Research in the Hata lab focuses on the role of the BMP/TGF signaling pathway in the maintenance of vascular homeostasis, control of vascular injury repair, and pathogenesis of vascular diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), restenosis, and atherosclerosis. Our approach is to study gene mutations identified among patients with IPAH or HHT and elucidate how these gene products affect the signaling pathway as well as vascular physiology using both cell culture and animal models.

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Michael D Grabe, Ph.D.

Grabe

Research Interests:
Membrane channels and transporters, molecular simulation, continuum electrostatics and elasticity theory

Summary:
Our lab uses computational methods to understand biological phenomena. We are primarily interested in the mechanical operation of ion channels and transporters, which move ions and small molecules across membranes. Additionally, we use theoretical approaches to explore how these membrane proteins work together to regulate ion homeostasis in organelles such as the lysosome and Golgi. Lastly, we are developing methodologies for predicting the stability of membrane proteins to understand how mutations give rise to a loss of function, improper trafficking or degradation.

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David J Erle, M.D.

Erle

Research Interests:
Asthma, allergy and inflammation; functional genomics

Summary:
Asthma is an increasingly common disease that affects about 20 million American children and adults. We are working to understand how proteins made by the immune system act within the lungs to cause some of the most important problems experienced by people with asthma. We also work on understanding newly discovered ways in which genes are turned on and off during health and disease.

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William F Degrado, Ph.D.

Degrado

Research Interests:

De novo protein design, drug design, protein structure/function, membrane protein structure, integrins, antivirals, antibiotics.

Summary:
DeGrado’s group works on the design of molecules that inform our understanding of biological processes. They also have developed small molecules drugs for various as potential pharmaceuticals, including antithrombotics, heparin reversal agents, antibacterials, and antiviral agents.

 

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Pao-Tien Chuang, M.D. , Ph.D.

Chuang

Research Interests:
Cell-cell signaling during mammalian development and in postnatal physiology

Summary:
We use mouse as a model system to understand how embryos develop. This knowledge is critical for understanding the basis of human congenital defects. Moreover, many adult diseases have their origin in development. Thus, our studies have important implications for developing stem cell therapy and identifying the cause of cancers.

 

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Ajay Chawla, M.D., Ph.D

Chawla

Research Interests:
Immune determinants of metabolism and regeneration; Nuclear receptor signaling in innate immune cells

Summary:
Across species, the aberrant activation of the innate immune system has been linked to pathogenesis of metabolic, inflammatory and degenerative diseases. However, the molecular pathways by which innate immune cells coordinate these diverse programs remain poorly understood. Our laboratory aims to elucidate the regulatory role of nuclear receptors and co-activator proteins in innate immune activation, and the importance of these pathways in paradigms of health and disease, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and tissue regeneration.

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Ethan J. Weiss, M.D.

WeissE

Research Interests:
Coagulation, thrombosis, hemostasis, fibrinolysis, genetics, platelet, sexual dimorphism, growth hormone signaling, fatty liver disease, regulation of energy metabolism and obesity

Summary:
Our group has two main interests. The first is to understand the mechanisms underlying the regulation of energy metabolism by growth hormone. Growth hormone is well-known to promote lipolysis as a means of mobilizing energy from stores in the form of free fatty acids. To accommodate tissues and organs with increased energy needs, fatty acid uptake is also regulated by growth hormone. The precise molecular mechanisms driving these two processes remain unclear. With an aim toward understanding mechanisms of obesity and related conditions, we use a molecular and cellular approach combined with mouse genetic models to understand how growth hormone regulates lipolysis and the uptake of fatty acid by cells and tissues.

Our second interest is in defining novel mechanisms of thrombosis susceptibility. Our group has had a long interest in thrombosis. Recently, we have focused on understanding ways to modulate thrombosis risk without increasing the risk of bleeding. Here, we also use molecular, cellular, and mouse genetics approaches.

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Kamran Atabai, M.D.

Atabai

Research Interests:
Apoptotic cell and collagen clearance in health and disease.

Summary:
The accumulation of cellular and molecular debris in the extracellular compartment must be precisely regulated to preserve tissue integrity. We are interested in discovering the pathways that regulate tissue homeostasis through the removal of matrix molecules (collagen) and cellular debris (apoptotic cells) under normal and pathological conditions.

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Christopher D Allen, Ph.D.

Allen

Research Interests:
Cellular dynamics of allergic immune responses underlying asthma

Summary:
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that afflicts tens of millions of people in the US and is particularly prevalent in children. In the majority of individuals with asthma, underlying allergic inflammation in the lung makes a significant contribution to the disease etiology. In order to understand the cellular and molecular events driving this allergic inflammation, we use advanced technologies, including two-photon microscopy and flow cytometry, to directly visualize and characterize inflammatory cells in the lungs as well as in lymphoid organs that ‘prime’ cells for immune responses in the respiratory tract. A particular emphasis of our research is on the generation and function of the IgE class of antibodies that contribute to allergic responses.

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William DeGrado – The Protein Society’s Stein and Moore Award

The 2015 Stein and Moore Award recipient is Dr. William DeGrado (University of California, San Francisco). Dr. DeGrado’s bold body of work spanning decades has taught us that proteins can be rationally designed in a staged modular manner based on simple chemical and conformational principles, and that both de novo and biologically-inspired functional elements can also be installed. His work has also taught us the pitfalls in rational design, and has provided a battery of biophysical and biochemical methods that can be powerfully applied to validate and understand the structure of these designs. His pioneering work has shown that simple chemical principles can be rationally applied to highly complex systems to both understand them and create new materials and potential therapeutics. His impact on the field of protein science can hardly be overestimated.

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Brian L. Black, Ph.D.

Research Interests:
Cardiac and skeletal muscle development, differentiation, and function

Summary:
Tissues and organs form during mammalian embryonic development through the integration of numerous signaling and transcriptional pathways. Our major goal is to define pathways controlling organ formation to understand normal development, the molecular basis for congenital defects, and potential mechanisms for organ regeneration and repair.

We use a combination of gene knockouts, transgenic reporter assays, biochemical, computational, and genomic approaches to investigate basic developmental mechanisms. We primarily use the mouse as a model system, but several current projects also use cultured cells or zebrafish as models to understand developmental gene regulation. Current work in the lab is focused primarily on cell autonomous mechanisms underlying gene regulation, tissue specification, organ formation and metabolic control during cardiovascular, craniofacial, and neural crest development.

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