School of Medicine
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James K. Chen
Jauch Professor and Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, of Developmental Biology and of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur laboratory combines chemistry and developmental biology to investigate the molecular events that regulate embryonic patterning, tissue regeneration, and tumorigenesis. We are currently using genetic and small-molecule approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling, and we are developing chemical technologies to perturb and observe the genetic programs that underlie vertebrate development.
Assistant Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in my laboratory is aimed at understanding how eukaryotes replicate their DNA despite numerous challenges (collectively known as replication stress), and more generally – how eukaryotic cells safeguard genome integrity. Specifically, we are investigating: (i) mechanisms that regulate the activity of the replicative helicase during replication stress, (ii) mechanisms that control the inheritance of epigenetic information during replication, and (iii) mechanisms of ubiquitin-mediated regulation of genome maintenance. We utilize single-molecule microscopy to directly image fluorescently-labeled replication factors and track them in real time in Xenopus egg extracts. I developed this system as a postdoctoral fellow, and used it to monitor how the eukaryotic replicative helicase copes with DNA damage. We plan to further extend the capabilities of this platform to directly visualize other essential replication factors, nucleosomes, and regulatory post-translational modifications like ubiquitin chains. By elucidating molecular mechanisms responsible for maintaining genome stability, we aim to better understand the link between genome instability and cancer, and how these mechanisms can be harnessed to improve disease treatment.
Danny Hung-Chieh Chou
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology) and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program integrates concepts of chemical biology, protein engineering and structure biology to design new therapeutic leads and generate probes to study biological processes. A key focus of our lab is insulin, an essential hormone in our body to reduce blood glucose levels. We generate synthetic libraries of insulin analogs to select for chemical probes, and investigate natural insulin molecules (e.g. from the venom of fish-hunting cone snails!) to develop novel therapeutic candidates. We are especially interested in using chemical and enzymatic synthesis to create novel chemical entities with enhanced properties, and leverage the strong expertise of our collaborators to apply our skill sets in the fields of cancer biology, immunology and pain research. Our ultimate goal is to translate our discovery into therapeutic interventions in human diseases.
Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsGenomic instability contributes to many diseases, but it also underlies many natural processes. The Cimprich lab is focused on understanding how mammalian cells maintain genomic stability in the context of DNA replication stress and DNA damage. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the cellular response to replication stress and DNA damage as well as the links between DNA damage and replication stress to human disease.
Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur focus is on building computational models of complex biological processes, and using them to guide an experimental program. Such an approach leads to a relatively rapid identification and validation of previously unknown components and interactions. Biological systems of interest include metabolic, regulatory and signaling networks as well as cell-cell interactions. Current research involves the dynamic behavior of NF-kappaB, an important family of transcription factors.
Instructor, Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsInvestigating the role of R-loops in genome instability and cancer.