How are Human Cells Designed?
Did you know that hundreds of thousands of different types of proteins contribute to behaviors of a single human cell, and that each of our bodies is composed of trillions of cells?
Why are cells engineered with this complexity? What principles are so fundamental to cellular design that they impact the way we respond to drugs or self-repair?
Answering these questions means we could define what healthy entails for human cells and open the door for therapies to re-engineer cells.
We develop integrated computational and experimental methods to answer key questions about the behaviors of stem, neurovascular and neuronal cells from their molecular signaling to tissue formation. Essential protein pathways involved in how humans adapted to process oxygen – hypoxia-inducible pathways – guide these cells. By combining emerging methods in data science, modeling and cell-based assays we uncover how these hypoxia-inducible pathways connect with thousands of others to change the way cells grow, sense and communicate. We use the information we learn from these studies and the computational tools we build to better target therapies for cancer patients and propose new strategies for regenerating brain tissue.