About the Lab

The primary interest of our lab is to investigate the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis and how they impact human health and disease. This focus has evolved to include the investigation of non-apoptotic functions of proteins that have long been considered to have roles in apoptosis, the caspase family of proteases. Our research program is focused on two major areas:

  • Caspase regulation in cancer
  • Caspase activation during inflammation

The rationale for these investigations is that caspases protect from cancer and other diseases, by engaging diverse cellular mechanisms in addition to cell death, such as cell division, inflammation, and DNA repair.

Pioneered Technique

caspase-2-activation-platform (320x240)
3D confocal imaging shows the assembly of the caspase-2 activation platform in the nucleolus following exposure to DNA damaging agents.

Our lab has pioneered a fluorescence complementation-based technique (Caspase BiFC) that measures one of the first steps in caspase activation.

A large focus of our lab is using the caspase probes that we have developed in combination with our spinning disk confocal microscope to perform single cell analysis of caspase pathways.