The Regulatory Logic of Signaling

Our group uses molecular genetics to study the regulation of signaling networks that control immune and nervous system function. Much of our current work is focused on receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) of the TAM and Eph receptor families.

The systems biology of the TAM (Tyro3, Axl, and Mer) RTKs in the immune and nervous systems is a major project focus of the lab. These receptors, and their integration and regulation of the innate immune response, were both initially described by our group. We are currently studying the role that TAM RTKs play in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis in macrophages and dendritic cells [read more]. We are particularly interested in the role that dysregulation of the TAM signaling network plays in (a) the development of autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis [read more], (b) the course of infection by influenza, HIV, West Nile, and Dengue viruses [read more], and (c) the organization and function of synapses in the central nervous system [read more].

In a second project area, we are interested in how expression gradients of Eph receptors are established across fields of developing neurons, and how these interacting RTK gradients function during the topographic wiring of the eye to the brain. Current efforts are directed toward the analysis of a set of transcription factors (Vax proteins) that integrate the activities of the Sonic hedgehog and Wnt morphogen gradients that initially specify Eph receptor gradients in the embryonic nervous system [read more].


"LexIII: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi." I. Newton (1687) Principæ Mathematica