Nano scale functional genomics and proteomics analyses of mast cell activation
Molecular Basis of Allergic Diseases: Genomic and Functional Analyses
Our primary interest is the molecular basis of allergic and allergy related diseases, including skin allergy and asthma. Specifically, we explore the mechanisms underlying release of allergic (i.e. histamine) and inflammatory (i.e. cytokines) mediators from activated mast cells.
Our research focuses on deciphering the signaling networks that link mast cell activation with mediator release and characterization of genes that could serve as cellular targets for the future development of anti allergic and asthma drugs. To this end, we combine functional genomics and phenotype driven screens of mast cells, activated by multiple stimuli, in order to recapitulate human pathophysiologic conditions.
Research methods used include confocal microscopy in live and fixed cells; gene cloning; quantitative RT-PCR, pull down-assay; mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics.
Current projects in the lab include:
- Exploring the genetic connections between the size of the mast cell secretory granules and mastocytosis.
- Mast cells and cancer- the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Decoding the Rab networks that control mast cell function.