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Our lab is interested in the basic mechanism of Wnt signal transduction, a pathway that plays critical roles in the early development of multicellular organisms and the maintenance of intestinal stem cells in adults. Misregulated Wnt signaling is often implicated in human diseases such as colorectal cancer. We use biochemistry, chemical biology, cell biology, and developmental biology to study the Wnt pathway. Some major questions our research focuses on include the following:

1) How is receptor homeostasis maintained?

2) What are the nuclear factors needed to mediate Wnt signaling?

3) How do mutations in tumor suppressors and oncogenes lead to pathway perturbation?

A long-term goal of our lab is to leverage the findings from these and other studies to develop effective therapeutics for the treatment of Wnt-driven diseases.

The figure shows a crystal structure of CK1 and the small molecule Wnt inhibitor,  pyrvinium, an FDA approved drug. Background shows a centrally located intestinal adenoma stained for beta-catenin (Thorne et al., Nature Chem Bio 2010).

We welcome graduate school rotations and postdoc applications.

If interested, please contact