Peter N. Devreotes, Ph.D.

Our group studies chemotactic cell migration, the ability to sense external gradients and respond directionally. This process plays a key role in normal physiology and we believe that knowledge of this fundamental process will also lead to new therapeutic strategies for inflammatory disease and metastasis. Studies in the amoeba Dictyostelium have shown that surface chemoattractant receptors and G-proteins are not significantly clustered at the front of the cell while downstream signaling events, such as PIP₃ accumulation, are sharply localized at the cell's leading edge. A few proteins have also been localized at the trailing edge. Many of these findings have been repeated in human and zebrafish neutrophils demonstrating the generality of the mechanisms.

Budri Abubaker-Sharif

Jane Borleis

Marc Edwards, Ph.D.

Thomas Lampert, Ph.D.

My current research entails discovering novel regulators of cell-substrate adhesion in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to resolve mechanisms of cellular migration. I have devised high-throughput processes to screen for both genetic and small molecule regulators of amoeboid cell-substrate adhesion. I have not only discovered many new ways in which cell behavior can be controlled but I am also beginning to characterize the interconnections between these new mechanisms. In the future, this complex knowledge of the combinatorial effects of genes and pharmaceuticals on how cells behave should lead to numerous new lines of influential research. Our ability to control cell-substrate adhesion and cellular motility has great potential for therapeutics in numerous human disease states.

Xiaoguang Li

Yu Long

Yuchuan Miao

Wei Qian

Huiwang (David) Zhan