Stress Signaling in Development, Homeostasis and Disease

Our interest has been focused on elucidating the pleiotropic functions of the stress-inducible signaling pathways and downstream mechanisms governing gene expression in the physiological and pathological contexts. Taking advantage of the genetic accessibility of the Drosophila model, we study how mechanical stress and loss of polarity impact signaling cascades and transcription factor networks involved in the regulation of growth, differentiation and defense responses in the epithelial tissues. (MORE INFORMATION)

The integration of metabolic and immune responses is an essential aspect of homeostasis. The ability to withstand starvation and mount an effective defense against pathogens is a fundamental prerequisite for organismal survival. Our lab uses the Drosophila model to provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic and immune system homeostasis. (MORE INFORMATION)

Splicing in Development and Disease

The rapid switch of cellular transcriptome requires the activity of specific transcription factors as well as the precise processing of the native pre-mRNAs by the spliceosome. We focus on mechanisms that collaborate with the pre-mRNA processing machinery to generate cell type specific splicing patterns. We are interested in understanding how stress affects spliceosome assembly and splicing accuracy as spliceosome malfunctions pose a significant challenge to the cells and thread to genome integrity. We use genetic and molecular approaches to identify the stress-inducible and DNA damage related genetic networks that respond to spliceosome deregulation and decipher how they contribute to loss of tissue homeostasis, premature aging and disease phenotypes. (MORE INFORMATION)

Regulation of Epithelial Morphogenesis

Epithelial morphogenesis underlies tissue and organ formation during animal development as well as during tissue regeneration. The best-known examples in Drosophila include the embryonic dorsal closure, formation of the adult thorax, and wound healing. We are interested in the less-well characterized process of fly abdominal morphogenesis, which involves replacement of larval epidermal cells (LECs) with adult histoblasts during metamorphosis. (MORE INFORMATION)