The BMSE program encompasses a wide variety of research within the broad areas of molecular genetics and molecular biology. Specific areas of research include : (1) the ecology , regulation, and systems biology of diseases and symbioses caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi in plants and animals and (2) understanding developmental processes, regulatory networks, ion channels, microtubules, neural plasticity, and stem cell biology in invertebrates such as nematodes and vertebrates including marine chordates and mammals.
Roles of metals in metalloenzymes; microbial iron acquisition, including siderophores and new metallo-enzymes.
Biochemistry; protein structure and function relationships; protein dynamics; chemotaxis in bacteria.
The role of radicals in enzyme catalysis and degradation, development of electron bifurcating flavoproteins, and biogeochemical redox cycling of phosphorus.
Basic mechanisms and disorders of neural plasticity; the role of microRNAs in stem cell differentiation.
Combining theory and experimentation to understand how navigational decisions come about in terms of neural-circuit computation.
Cellular communication between bacteria, including mechanisms and biology of contact-dependent growth inhibition; epigenetic gene regulatory mechanisms.
Microbial pathogenesis; innate and adaptive immune responses to infection; coagulopathy and inflammation of sepsis; vaccine development.
Macrophages patrol our tissues looking for signs of injury or infection. The Morrissey Lab wants to understand how macrophages measure, add and subtract all the signals they receive to calculate their response to a target. We use high resolution live imaging, synthetic biology and biochemistry to figure out when and where signaling molecules are activated to make these essential decisions. We are motivated by re-wiring macrophage signaling pathways to generate new cancer immunotherapies.
Bio-nano technology including molecular mechanisms controlling self assembly, emergent properties of biomolecular systems from minerals to dynamically tunable color in octopus skin; translation to revolutionary new routes to semiconductors, optoelectronics and energy.
The Mukherjee group will pursue fundamental advances at the intersection of molecular biology, biomedical imaging, and biophysics to discover and repurpose new classes of biomolecules into genetic reporters for studying cell function under low-oxygen conditions and inside deep tissues.
Enzymology of enzymes that modify nucleic acids, including bacterial and human epigenetic enzymes with biomedical relevance. Protein engineering, inhibitor design. Drug development. Nanoparticle-based delivery of siRNA, proteins, and drugs into cells (cancer/embryonic stem cell) and animals. Laser-dependent spatio-temporal control of drug targeting.
Molecular biology of animal virus-cell interactions; antiviral innate immunity & mechanisms of interferon action; translational control of gene expression in mammalian cells; A-to-I RNA editing; new materials for gene delivery into mammalian cells.
Quantitative systems biology and bioinformatics; statistical mechanics of non-equilibrium systems.
Vertebrate developmental biology; growth factors and axis specification in Xenopus.
Ion channels in the nervous system and cardiac muscle; molecular mechanisms of ion channel trafficking, regulation, and signal transduction.
Biochemistry and biophysics of bio-adhesion in marine organisms; bio- and nanomechanics of sclerotized composites; liquid crystals and molecular gradients in biomolecular materials.
The Weimbs Lab is centered around two related areas of investigation: Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease and SNAREs and epithelial cell polarity.
Biochemistry and function of cytoskeletal proteins; regulation of microtubules assembly and dynamics.