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Cell Biology

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology carries out fundamental research on basic cellular processes that are involved in host-pathogen interactions. Other areas of research include signaling mechanisms involved in cell differentiation and oncogenesis, and stem cell biology.

Dr. Feldman’s laboratory has developed transgenic animal models that allow retroviral-based specific delivery of genes to hemangioblasts, the cells that give rise to the hematopoietic and vascular endothelial systems. This gene delivery system allows genetic modification of stem cells in vivo, for use in elucidation of the mechanisms that regulate their self-renewal and mobilization to sites of tissue repair and regeneration. Dr. Feldman is also generating disease-specific human embryonic stem cells for modeling and treating patients with lysosomal storage genetic diseases (Gaucher’s Disease).

Dr. Hassel’s work focuses on the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression in the anti-viral and anti-tumor activities of interferon. Protein modification by the ubiquitin-like protein, ISG15, and the control of RNA stability by the 2-5A-dependent endoribonuclease, RNase-L, are his specific areas of interest.

Dr. Kalvakolanu studies the molecular mechanisms of innate anti-tumor and anti microbial defenses, with particular focus on the mechanisms of Interferon-induced signal transduction and transcriptional regulation of gene expression using cellular, molecular and gene knockout animals as tools. His lab identified several novel mediators of cell death and tumor suppression that are implicated in the development of human cancers.

Dr. Schulze investigates divalent cation transport in eucaryotic and procaryotic systems, with an emphasis on the functional roles of tissue-specific isoforms of the Na/Ca exchange protein and understanding regulation of Na/Ca exchanger transcription, splicing, and RNA stability.