The research in my lab is generally concerned with the biophysical characterization of lipid mediated protein functions.
We are particularly interested in studying phosphoinositide mediated signaling pathways. Phosphoinositide lipids represent only a small fraction of lipids in cellular membranes, yet their importance for cellular processes cannot be overstated. Phosphoinositides mediate physiological functions by regulating the activity and/or localization of membrane-associated proteins and thereby, influence or even control membrane processes like cell polarity, migration, survival, division, cytoskeletal dynamics and vesicular trafficking. Dysregulation of phosphoinositide levels has been associated with many human diseases, most notably cancer and neurological diseases. We are interested in determining how phosphoinositide mediated signaling events are organized in space and time and we are investigating the impact of phosphoinositides on protein activities and functions. We are utilizing a broad range of advanced thermodynamic, spectroscopic and microscopy techniques and students at all educational levels are encouraged to join our research projects that range from physical chemistry of biomembrane model systems to cellular biophysics.
Throughout my career I have obtained funding for several educational initiatives, including course development, undergraduate scholarships and research experiences for undergraduate students. As Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research I advise students on how to get involved in research and I secure funding for undergraduate summer research activities. Please visit https://www.wpi.edu/research/student/undergraduate for more information about undergraduate research opportunities.