Laboratories & Leaders

Helen Blau, PhD

The question of fundamental interest to our laboratory is how cells maintain a quiescent, proliferative or differentiated state. Once a cell becomes specialized for function in a particular tissue, that differentiated state is stable, yet the molecular mechanisms that control the expression of its characteristic repertoire of genes are largely dynamic. Our research is directed at understanding this apparent paradox and elucidating the nature of cell memory and cell plasticity. By perturbing the intracellular or extracellular milieu, we are probing the regulatory network that determines cell fate and how it can be altered. This knowledge is key to our understanding of stem cell quiescence, self-renewal, differentiation, and how cancer arises. This information is also critical to the use of somatic cells or stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

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Garry Nolan, PhD

Control of T cell signaling, machine learning of signaling states by Systems Biology, leukemia/cancer autoimmunity, and HIV-1 are prominent in our studies. We use advanced Flow Cytometric analysis (FACS) of phosphoproteins in single cells and dominant effector genetics to achieve many of our goals. For this we have developed a range of FACS assays, cDNA and peptide expression systems using viruses, and single-cell genetic selections, to study pathways of interest to us.

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Peter Jackson, PhD

Dr. Jackson’s lab uses proteomics and advanced imaging techniques to study fundamental mechanisms of cell biology.  He has made a broad set of discoveries related to regulatory complexes and signaling in the cell cycle, cancer, signaling within the primary cilium and the link between cilia and human genetic diseases.  The work builds on a long line of contributions the lab has made to understanding critical enzymatic mechanisms controlling eukaryotic cell growth, how non-catalytic domains are used to target enzymes to their intracellular sites of action, and mechanisms involved in fertilization, development, vesicle trafficking, and cell cycle.  Current interest within cancer pathways is reexamining poorly understood and new tumor suppressors and a critical reevaluation of the Kras signaling pathway.  For primary cilia, the lab has found new G-protein coupled receptors important in specific ciliated tissues and is especially interested in the role of cilia in mesenchymal stem cells including preadipocytes.

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Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology  |  Stanford University School of Medicine
269 Campus Drive, CCSR Building Room 4215  |  Stanford, California 94305-5175  |  Phone: 650-723-6209