Research

We study how receptors modulate several mechanisms of gene expression control.  The regulatory targets, genes and mRNAs we examine are used as models to understand how complex signaling pathway information becomes integrated within cells.  The basic idea is that how an mRNA is induced or suppressed in response to a stimulus depends upon 1) how several different targets of signaling are activated simultaneously and, 2) which of these factors assemble to regulate a given gene or mRNA.  We are mostly interested in regulatory mechanisms, and the signaling pathways that control them, which are associated with the immediate-early phases of mRNA modulation.  These immediate-early responses are less complicated by longer-term compensatory effects evoked by receptor stimuli. 

A major focus is to understand more about how receptor signaling modulates mRNA decay, and the role of such regulated post-transcriptional processes in governing gene expression patterns.  Another focus includes roles and regulation of various transcription factors, such as CREB, AP-1 and  NFAT, which are controlled by Ca++ and MAPK signaling from mitogenic receptors. 

Browse through our recent publications to understand this research better.  Most of our work is conducted using vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and is relevant to the medical problem of how numerous humoral factors modulate vascular diseases