Position title: Professor of Oncology
Our laboratory has played an important role in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which mammals respond to “dioxins”, an infamous class of environmental carcinogen. Our research into dioxin toxicology has also aided in the discovery of a superfamily of environmental sensor molecules collectively known as PAS proteins. We use knowledge of dioxin signal transduction to define the PAS superfamily and to work out mechanisms that explain how humans maintain circadian rhythms as well as to describe how hypoxia drives the development of the mammalian vascular system. In more recent years, the laboratory has begun to emphasize how knowledge of PAS proteins may explain a number of human disease states and to develop new classes of therapeutics that influence endpoints as diverse as angiogenesis and transplant success. Of particular interest to us is the relationship between circadian rhythms and endocrine pancreas function as it related to glucose-insulin homeostasis and other aspects of metabolic control.