Biochemical Signaling

The research of faculty in the Biochemical Signaling area probes the molecular mechanisms accounting for changes in cell metabolism that mediate the physiological adaptation of living cells in response to alterations in their environment. Often these cellular responses involve sequential biochemical reactions that form signaling cascades to coordinately regulate multiple cell functions. Some of the biochemical mechanisms studied in these signaling cascades include post-translational modifications of proteins such as phosphorylation, methylation, lipidation, and ubiquitination. Other mechanisms involve allosteric regulation of molecular function, including protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. The goal of all of these studies is to understand the principles of coordinated molecular regulation at a biochemical level and to demonstrate the importance of these biochemical regulatory mechanisms in a cellular context.

Primary Faculty

Ruma Banerjee, Ph.D.

Chemical biology of hydrogen sulfide signaling, regulation of mammalian sulfur metabolism in health and disease, structural enzymology of human B12 trafficking proteins

Uhn-Soo Cho, Ph.D.

Biochemical and structural studies of kinetochore assembly, histone chaperones, and Sestrin-mediated mTORC1 regulation

Daniel Goldman, Ph.D.

Identification of signaling pathways, chromatin alterations, and gene expression programs that drive central nervous system regeneration using the retina as a model system

Tom Kerppola, Ph.D.

Protein interactions and modifications in living cells and animals; mechanisms whereby cells and animals recognize and respond to synthetic chemicals

James Morrissey, Ph.D.

Biochemistry of the human blood clotting system; structural studies of protein-membrane complexes

Ruthann Nichols, Ph.D.

Structure-activity relationship and signaling pathways of neuropeptides and receptors of the RFamide peptide family and their role in regulating heart rate and muscle contractions

Stephen Ragsdale, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms of redox, heme, and gas signaling pathways

Audrey Seasholtz, Ph.D.

Molecular regulation of key mediators of the mammalian stress response: Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH), CRH receptors and binding protein, and corticosteroid receptors; dysregulation of the stress response in depression, anxiety disorders, and addiction

Raymond Trievel, Ph.D.

Chemical and structural biology of enzymes that covalently modify histones, transcription factors, and other nuclear proteins; current research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the specificities of histone methyltransferases and demethylases and on developing new assays and reagents to characterize them

Michael Uhler, Ph.D.

Neuronal signaling and gene expression in the context of human neurologic and psychiatric disorders

Anne Vojtek, Ph.D.

Molecular and biochemical analysis of signaling pathways that regulate cell proliferation and neural differentiation

Secondary Joint Faculty

Wei Cheng, Ph.D.

Using biochemical approaches aided by biophysical tools to mechanistically dissect the responses of B cells to particulate antigens both in vivo and in vitro, with a focus on the quantitative features of viral particles and their impact on B cells

Renny Franceschi, Ph.D.

Signals regulating the formation and functioning of osteoblasts, the cells that produce and mineralize the extracellular matrix of bone

Ursula Jakob, Ph.D.

Biochemical aspects of the bacterial response to oxidative stress

Roland Kwok, Ph.D.

How protein post-translational modifications, especially acetylation and phosphorylation, alter protein function in cancer cells

Brian Ross, Ph.D.

Molecular imaging of biological processes in living tissue, including noninvasive detection of molecular signaling events to investigate cancer growth and response to therapy

Debra Thompson, Ph.D.

Molecular studies of the function of the mammalian retina, including mechanisms that control signal transduction and tissue-specific gene expression in the retinal pigment epithelium