Assistant Professor in Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology
Main Office: MBB 1.318
Alternate Office: MBB 1.318
Alt. Phone: 2-8357
University of Texas at Austin
2500 Speedway, Stop A4800
Austin ,TEXAS 78712
Research SummaryWe are interested in understanding how cells integrate information in a way that directs them to make appropriate decisions. Our research specifically focuses on understanding how cells respond to secreted Hedgehog signaling and how they integrate this response with other signaling pathways. The Hedgehog pathway plays critical roles in literally dozens of distinct developmental systems and accordingly, its activity tightly regulated. Defects in Hedgehog signaling causes a spectrum of human defects. After birth, mutations in cells that cause amplified Hedgehog signaling result in several types of cancer.
The output of Hedgehog signaling is at the DNA level, where it results in the activation of cell-specific effector genes. We seek to define how cells respond to Hedgehog signaling at the transcriptional level and how they integrate this information with other signaling pathways to drive events during development and cancer.
To accomplish our goal, we utilize approaches involving both embryonic development and cancer. Our developmental studies are centered on one of the best model systems for understanding Hedgehog signaling, the embryonic limb bud. Recently, we have also started studying this in Basal Cell Carcinomas, the most common type of cancer. We utilize a combination of genetic, molecular and genomic approaches centered on the mouse as a model system.