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 Signal Transduction

Studies of Heparanase (HPSE) expression during Endochondral bone formation from the Dan Carson and Cindy Farach-Carson Labs
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Signals regulate an enormous number of different processes in biology. Understanding andcontrolling the pathways sensing these signals can yield important benefits for medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology.  At Rice, we are studying aspects of signal transduction in bacteria, crustaceans, Dictyostelium, Drosophila, humans, plants, and yeast. A highly interactive group of researchers in the labs briefly described below work& on aspects of signal transduction ranging from the signals themselves to their final effects on cells and organisms.

Faculty links:

Bonnie Bartel:  Molecular genetic studies of peroxisome biogenesis and functions in Arabidopsis; roles of auxin precursors in plant growth and development (lab home page).

Kathleen M. Beckingham:  The roles of the calcium sensor proteins Calmodulin and Androcam in calcium signaling, as investigated by genetic approaches in the whole organism, molecular interaction studies, and biophysical structural studies.

Matthew Bennett :  Synthetic biology and the dynamics of gene regulation. The Bennett lab uses a hybrid computational and experimental approach to design, construct and understand gene regulatory networks.

Janet Braam:  The signal transduction pathways that enable plants to respond to mechanical force, such as touch, gravity and wounding.  The Braam lab is also studying potential feedback pathways that plant cells may use to maintain cell wall integrity (lab home page).

Flavohemoglobin collaboration from the John Olson and Mike Gustin Labs
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Daniel Carson:  Expression and function of cell surface components involved in embryonic development and tumor cell models. Study of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan.

Mary C. (Cindy) Farach-Carson:  The role of extracellular matrix in the progression of cancer; the use of proteoglycans in the engineering of connective tissues.

Michael C. Gustin:  Genetic and molecular tools to elucidate signaling pathways that mediate stress induction of gene expression in animals and fungi, starting with the osmosensing HOG MAP kinase pathway uncovered first in yeast and extended now to studies of oxidant-activated signaling pathways in fungi and osmosensing pathways in Drosophila.


Peter Lwigale :  Molecular regulation of corneal development; Neural crest differentiation, corneal innervation and avascularity; fetal wound regeneration (lab home page).

Yousif Shamoo :  The evolutionary and molecular basis for antibiotic resistance, directed evolution of protein structure-function, and the underlying biophysical and physicochemical principles of adaptation within bacterial populations (lab home page).

Michael Stern:  Signalling mechanisms regulating the timing of the Drosophila larval metamorphosis.

Studies of enhanced herbivory resistance after in-phase entrainment for cabbages in the Braam Lab