Christopher P. Lapointe, PhD

Dr. Lapointe examines how the synthesis of proteins (translation) is controlled, as dysregulated translation is a ubiquitous feature of cancer. He is focused on a key challenge: how regulation that originates at the “tail” end of a messenger RNA (mRNA, a genetic molecule that encodes a protein) impacts the start of translation, which occurs near the beginning of the mRNA. His goal is to reveal and analyze dynamic pathways that underlie this fundamental mechanism to control gene expression.

Anupam K. Chakravarty, PhD

Dr. Chakravarty [HHMI Fellow] is investigating heritable physical structures, called higher order assemblies, formed upon overexpression of RNA binding proteins. RNA binding proteins are consistently overexpressed in multiple cancers. His research will illuminate the mechanism of assembly formation and its role in altering gene regulation, thereby suggesting novel avenues to potential therapeutic intervention.

Rohith K. Srivas, PhD

Dr. Srivas is studying the changes in the composition and function of bacteria inhabiting the human gut (microbiome). The microbiome plays an extensive role in modulating host metabolism and inflammation, which when disrupted can lead to diseases such as cancer. There has been much interest in understanding this relationship between the microbiome and human cancers.

Andrew R. Nager, PhD

Dr. Nager [Fayez Sarofim Fellow] is studying the primary cilium, an organelle that cells use to sense the environment and communicate with other cells. To do so, the primary cilium selectively exchanges signaling molecules with the cell body. He is using cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysics to understand the gate between the primary cilium and the cell body. Because dysfunctions of the primary cilium promote cancer and cause developmental disease, this research is an important new avenue of exploration.

David K. Breslow, PhD

Dr. Breslow is studying the primary cilium, a cellular structure that enables cells to sense and respond to specific external cues. While disruptions to primary cilia are known to promote tumor formation and cause developmental defects, how cilia orchestrate these processes remains poorly understood. He is using a combination of genomic, biochemical and cell biology approaches to investigate how specific signaling occurs in the cilia.