The overall aim of my research is to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating organ size. The model system and application we have chosen to study is regulation of skeletal muscle mass in disease. Muscle size is highly plastic and extraordinarily responsive to changes in single genes or pathways. Furthermore, skeletal muscle protein stores and metabolic functions play important and essential roles in the physiologic response to injury and disease. We seek to discover the molecular pathways regulating muscle plasticity in the setting of serious illness. The long term goal is to develop targeted interventions for muscle preservation and functional recovery in chronic disease.
The phosphatase Rtr1 prevents early RNAPII termination
My laboratory is focused on investigating bone from mechanical engineering and materials science perspectives by tying morphology and composition to mechanical function and fracture resistance at discrete length scales throughout the hierarchy of bone (and other musculoskeletal tissues). The long-term goal of my laboratory is to determine mechanisms by which biological and mechanical factors influence the mechanical integrity of bone at levels throughout the tissue's hierarchy. Our goal is to translate findings into rational and clinically-relevant diagnostic and treatment options for defects, damage and disease of musculoskeletal tissues. A common thread that passes through all of our research projects is an interest in collagen and the roles collagen plays in bone health.
What insecticide resistance teaches us about molecular evolution
Our lab addresses a fundamental question in biology: how do novel phenotypic traits originate and diversify in nature? We use a wide range of approaches to address this question from different perspectives, and on different levels of biological organization. We use behavioral and ecological approaches in the lab and field on experimental and natural populations to understand when and how ecological processes can drive phenotypic evolution. We employ standard developmental techniques and growth manipulations to address physiological mechanisms of phenotype formation and evolution. Lastly, we rely on an increasing range of developmental-genetic and molecular tools (gene expression, gene function analysis, genomic and proteomic approaches) to investigate the genetic and genomic regulation of phenotype expression and diversification.
A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how brain circuits perform computations, affect perception and behaviors. I am interested in elucidating how neuromodulatory systems induce reward-dependent plasticity of the neural circuits involved in visual perception. I use a multi-disciplinary approach: using optogenetics and robotics to map neural circuits in vitro, and extra- and intracellular electrophysiological recordings in vivo. I use the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) as a model system, as it combines the ease of manipulating visual stimulus with accessibility for in vivo recordings in a genetically tractable animal model. This combination of in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology with the optogenetic tools provides an integrated platform to dissect and manipulate specific circuits relevant for visual perception, and study diseases affecting perception and neural circuit function, such as autism.
Beyond the Dopamine Receptor: Regulation and Roles of Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatases in Striatal Neurons
Part of the Research Seminar Forum Highlighting Research by School of Science Investigators: This forum is intended to highlight some of the cutting-edge research ongoing in the School of Science at IUPUI, and hopefully stimulate interactions between our faculty. Given the diversity of the disciplines represented within the School of Science, these talks are appropriate for an intelligent audience that is not deeply familiar with the area of research.
Reprogramming our understanding of development and disease