Post-doctoral Training/Associate, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2008-2018
PhD, Genetics and Development, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2008
BA, Biology, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN, 1999
My research focuses on cell communication mediated by the Ras-MAP kinase cascade, a conserved signal transduction pathway that acts in a diverse set of cellular processes, including neuronal function, membrane organization, cell proliferation, fate specification, and aging. In animals, a growing body of research suggests that Ras signaling is modulated by inhibitory and negative feedback mechanisms, but our understanding of this network is incomplete.
My laboratory takes both genetic and quantitative imaging approaches to understand the regulatory logic of Ras signaling in animal development. We utilize the small worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as an experimental model to understand the consequences of mutations that perturb Ras signaling in human diseases, and to genetically identify novel regulators that inhibit signal transduction. In a complementary approach, we use fluorescent biosensors and live imaging techniques to quantify the spatial and temporal properties of Ras signaling in living C. elegans, which is optically transparent and ideal for this visualization.