TGFß signaling in development and disease
Our laboratory is interested in how cellular signals regulate biological responses to disease, damage, or stress within an organism, and how these same cellular signals effect the formation and movement of tissues within a developing embryo. A major lab focus is defining the molecular basis for the specificity of ligands of the TGFß superfamily during the processes of disease, tissue regeneration, and embryonic patterning. TGFßs are critical regulators of inflammation and autoimmunity, wound healing, muscle and bone maintenance, tumor cell behavior, and embryonic patterning. Many of these activities are important potential targets for pharmacotherapy; understanding the basis for the cell-type and tissue specific effects of TGFßs is essential for developing useful approaches to therapeutic manipulation of TGFß signals. Our long term goal is to establish the molecular basis for the specificity of clinically important responses to TGFß, making possible new approaches to disease therapy through signal inhibition.