School of Medicine
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Helen M. Blau
The Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Professor and Director, Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Prof. Helen Blau's research area is regenerative medicine with a focus on stem cells. Her research on nuclear reprogramming and demonstrating the plasticity of cell fate using cell fusion is well known and her laboratory has also pioneered the design of biomaterials to mimic the in vivo microenvironment and direct stem cell fate. Current findings are leading to more efficient iPS generation, cell based therapies by dedifferentiation a la newts, and discovery of novel molecules and therapies.
Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab uses chemical, biochemical, and cell biological methods to study protease function in human disease. Projects include:
1) Design and synthesis of novel chemical probes for each of the primary protease families.
2) Understanding the role of proteolysis in the life cycle of the human parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii.
3) Defining the specific functional roles of proteases during the process of tumorogenesis.
4) In vivo imaging of protease activity
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab studies how immune responses are regulated within chronically inflamed or infected tissues. In particular, we study how the extracellular matrix influences local immunity and why these responses are dysregulated in autoimmune diseases, poorly healing wounds, and chronic infections.
We welcome research students with interests in immunology, structural biology, and microbiology.
Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests We are intereseted in the interaction between the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and its mammalian host. We use a combination of molecular and genetic tools to understand how this obligate intracellular parasite can invade almost any cell it encounters, how it co-opts a host cell once inside and how it evades the immune response to produce a life-long, persistent infection.
Rachel J. Hagey
Ph.D. Student in Microbiology and Immunology, admitted Autumn 2011
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My primary research focus is in translational molecular virology, with a special interest in uncovering and characterizing RNA structure-function relationships and their role in RNA virus life cycles. Just as many current antibiotics target RNA secondary structures, I envisage a completely new class of antivirals that will similarly target critical RNA secondary structures within viral genomes (such as packaging, translation, or replication signals). To pursue these goals, my research combines molecular virology and genetic tools with emerging high-throughput RNA structure-probing technologies to uncover new classes of conserved viral, non-protein targets for the development of much needed antiviral therapies.