Department of Physiology and Biophysics
In my laboratory, we are interested in structural components of the cell, their role in establishing and regulating cellular functions, and how this regulation translates into physiological consequences in health and disease.
We have two major focus areas: 1) The role of cytoskeletal elements in prostate cancer development and progression and 2) The role of nucleoskeletal elements in establishing and maintaining nuclear structure and function.
1) The majority of death from cancer is caused by metastasis, the spreading of cancer cells from the site of a primary tumor to other body parts. We use a combination of biochemical, cell biological, physiological, and translational approaches to elucidate the mechanisms that are involved in the acquisition of metastatic phenotypes. Specifically, we focus on the role that myosins play in this process. We are also interested in how dietary fats can contribute to the development of metastatic phenotypes in prostate cancer cells.
2) Aberrations in nuclear structure and dynamics are the underlying cause of diseases ranging from cancer to premature aging. We are interested in the role of nuclear actin and myosins in regulating dynamic nuclear processes such as nucleolar assembly and functions in health and disease.