Biology of Disease
Members of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology are committed to investigating the cell biological mechanisms that underpin the basis of diseases that are genetically inherited, injury-induced or acquired during aging. These diseases include inherited and acquired hearing loss related to defects in the auditory track, neurodegenerative diseases rooted in protein misfolding, solid tumors linked to uncontrolled and metastatic cell growth, and pregnancy complications associated with placenta abnormalities. Complementing these key areas of interests are strategies to use scaffolds, extracellular matrix proteins, and stem cells in regenerative medicine approaches. At the core of these cutting-edge research approaches is the deployment of unique genetically-modified mouse models of human disease together with tissue-relevant cells, strategically engineered cells, yeast, and stem cells that inform on key cellular functions in normal and disease tissues. High-resolution imaging strategies that track molecular movement in cells, cell behavior and organ morphology are routinely employed. All of these experimental approaches serve to bridge key discoveries from cell and animal reference models to the human condition.