SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION

Computer rendering of cell, receptors, and proteins
The means whereby the activities of different cell types are harmonized to provide integrated responses in an organism is the key feature that allows multi-celled organisms to flourish. This coordination is achieved by the activities of a dazzling array of neurotransmitters, hormones and growth factors, which operate on timescales of milliseconds to days. The study of these processes is known as signal transduction, or cellular signaling, which is one of the key areas of biomedical research, because of what it tells us about normal functions and the therapeutic opportunities that it identifies. The department of Pharmacology has built up its strength in cellular signaling over the years to now being one of the most prominent departments in the US in this critical area. Investigators study ion channels, second messengers, growth factor-signaling and the cell cycle.

Associated Faculty

Aoto, Jason
Assistant Professor
PhD, 2009, Univ. of California, Berkley
We are interested in dissecting the distinct functions of synaptic cell-adhesion molecules implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction in the context of disease-relevant brain circuits. Using cutting-edge multidisciplinary techniques, we are able to interrogate these molecules with cell-type and synapse-specific resolution.

Bankston, John
Assistant Professor
PhD, 2009, Columbia University
Molecular Mechanisms of ion channel function. Examining structural and regulatory mechanisms of the Acid-sensing ion channels using electrophysiology, fluorescence, spectroscopy, and structural biology.

Bayer, K. Ulrich
Professor
PhD, 1996, Heinrich-Pette-Institute
Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. Strategies for restoring normal synaptic plasticity in neurological disorders.

Caino, M. Cecilia
Assistant Professor
PhD, 2010, Univ. de Buenos Aires
Our group aims to understand how mitochondria reprogramming in tumors impact cellular behaviors that drive progressive and lethal cancer. We use a broad repertoire of biochemistry, cell biology, live cell imaging and animal models to study the impact of mitochondria shape, number and subcellular distribution in metastatic dissemination.

Churchill, Mair E. A.
Professor
PhD, 1987, Johns Hopkins Univ. 
Structure and mechanism in gene regulation; biophysical and structural studies of protein-nucleic acid and protein-protein complexes in chromatin and bacterial pathogenesis.

Dabertrand, Fabrice
Associate Professor
PhD, University of Bordeaux Segalen, France
The control of cerebral blood flow by ion channels and calcium signaling in the pericytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells that constitute the brain microcirculation. We use this information to combat brain diseases with a vascular component.

Dell'Acqua, Mark L.
Professor and Vice Chairman
PhD, 1995, Harvard Univ.
Organization of signaling complexes by protein kinase and phosphatase anchoring proteins; mechanisms regulating neuronal second messenger signaling in synaptic plasticity.

Edelstein, Charles L. 
Professor of Medicine
MD, PhD, FAHA, FASN
Caspases and apoptosis in PKD

Ford, Christopher
Associate Professor
PhD, 2003, Univ. of Alberta
We study the synaptic mechanisms by which neuromodulators like dopamine and acetylcholine are encoded in mesolimbic and nigrostriatal circuits through their G-protein coupled receptors and the alterations that occur in these systems in neurological and psychiatric diseases. 

Ford, Heide, L.
Professor
PhD, 1995, Univ. of Rochester
My laboratory studies the parallels between normal development and tumorigenesis/metastasis with a focus on the role of the Six1/Eya transcriptional complex in TGF-beta signaling, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, cancer stem cells, and metastasis.

Heasley, Lynn E.
Professor
PhD, 1985, Univ. of California, San Diego
Investigating the role of MAP kinases and specific receptor tyrosine kinases in normal and transformed growth of lung epithelial cells using techniques of molecular and cell biology in lung epithelial cells and human lung cancer cell lines.

Lahm, Timothy

Professor of Medicine 

MD, 2000, University of Heidelberg

Pulmonary hypertension, right heart failure, sex differences in cardiopulmonary disease, estrogen signaling in the lung and right ventricle, angiogenesis and endothelial cell function in pulmonary vascular disease and right heart failure, hypoxia-induced cardiac and lung vascular remodeling, neurohormonal signaling in right heart failure, androgen signaling in asthma

 

McKinsey, Timothy A.
Associate Professor
PhD, 1998, Vanderbilt Univ.
Epigenetic regulation of heart failure; signaling and transcriptional mechanisms of muscle disease.

Nemenoff, Raphael A.
Professor
PhD, 1977, Cornell Univ.
Signaling pathways controlling growth and differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells; Role of eicosanoids in lung cancer.

Port, J. David
Professor
PhD, 1989, Univ. of Utah
G-protein linked receptors and their regulation; regulation of mRNA stability.

Sather, William A.
Associate Professor
PhD, 1988, Univ. of Washington
Signaling through calcium channels in neurons.

Schweppe, Rebecca E.
Associate Professor
PhD, 2000, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
The focus of my lab is to identify novel molecular targets relevant to papillary and anaplastic thyroid cancer (PTC and ATC) with the ultimate goal of advancing these studies to clinical trials for thyroid cancer patients who do not respond to standard treatments.

Thorburn, Andrew M.
Professor and Chairman
D.Phil., 1990, Univ. of Oxford
Understanding the signaling mechanisms that control apoptosis in cancer development and during the response of tumor cells to cancer therapeutics.

Tucker, Chandra L.
Assistant Professor
PhD, 1999, Univ. of Washington
Study and manipulation of protein homeostasis and signaling pathways in live cells, optogenetic tools for controlling protein interactions, synthetic biology, cytosolic protein misfolding, yeast genetics/genomics.

Tuder, Rubin
Professor
MD, 1979, São Paulo University of Medicine
Overall goals are to define the mechanisms of COPD pathogenesis and the molecular, cellular, and histopathological features of Pulmonary Hypertension. Our lab studies the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke induced emphysema and its underlying mechanisms, including the role of RTP-801 and adipocytokine, as well as his investigation in the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis-related pulmonary hypertension and development of targeted methods and treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

Weiser-Evans, Mary C.M.
Professor
PhD, 1992, Colorado State Univ.
Defining the molecular signaling mechanisms regulating vascular smooth muscle cell function in the setting of vascular fibroproliferative diseases, including restenosis and pulmonary hypertension.