Signaling in cell migration Date Added: 7/31/2003 3:22:00 PM
Last Updated: 5/24/2011 3:18:00 PM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
This laboratory focuses on healing in epithelia. In most epithelia, wounds are covered amazingly quickly because the cells near the lesions reorganize their motility machinery so they can migrate very quickly. How does this occur? How do cells “know” that there is a wound and how is that information processed within the cells?
We study corneal epithelial wound healing as a model. Defects in corneal epithelial healing can be very serious and may ultimately lead to blindness, and it is therefore clinically highly relevant to study the healing process. We expect that our results will also have implications for understanding the poor healing of other very serious chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers, and venous and pressure ulcers. The cornea is an attractive experimental model because of the simple structure of the tissue: It consists of only three layers, contains no lymph or blood vessels under normal conditions, and is very accessible for experimental manipulations.
We are working with a variety of in vitro models for wound healing. One interest is to identify signals that cause epithelial cells to move. Signals could be interaction with the extracellular matrix, mechanical stimulation, and/or the presence of soluble factors. Another interest is to understand the immediate intracellular signals that cause epithelial cells to move, and we have identified several essential very early signaling events after wounding.
There are numerous opportunities for rotation projects concerning signaling in cell motility in the lab – let’s discuss
Techniques graduate student will learn:
Biological assays using our wounding models and other motility assays, expression of foreign genes by transfection and adenovirus vectors, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, a variety of biochemical assays, cell fractionation, some molecular biological techniques..
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