Center for Autophagy Research – Faculty
The Levine Lab studies the molecular regulation of autophagy, and the roles of Beclin 1 and other autophagy proteins in diverse aspects of physiology and disease.
The Zhong Lab studies the biochemical mechanism of mammalian autophagy, including PI3P production, membrane curvature sensing, cargo recruitment, and membrane tethering/fusion.
The Ball Protein Chemistry Technology Center provides advanced peptide synthesis, MALDI mass spectrometry, and Edman sequencing services, for a fee or through a collaborative arrangement.
We study how autophagy is activated during viral infection (i.e. Virophagy) and how virophagy functions to restrict the replication of some viruses. We utilize an image-based genome-wide siRNA screen approach and genetic and biochemical approaches to identify and characterize host virophagy factors. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms of virology will enhance our understanding of the interplay between host and viruses, as well as potentially identify additional targets that can be used to therapeutically modulate autophagy in the treatment of viral diseases.
Our research is focused on the mechanisms by which autophagy contributes for the host immune defense against infections. Currently, we are investigating the role of a newly identified ubiquitin-ligase on the mediation of selective autophagy against the human pathogen Mycobaterium tuberculosis. In addition, we are testing new autophagy-inducing compounds for the treatment of tuberculosis.
The Sumpter Lab is focused on investigating selective autophagy as a novel pathway of host innate immunity. We are exploring the role of newly identified selective autophagy factors in host defense against viruses, in the removal of damaged mitochondria, and in the regulation of proinflammatory cytokine production.
My research focus is on understanding the molecular mechanisms of autophagy and their implications in cancer. Understanding the autophagy pathways involved in this disease will hopefully allow us to find new treatment options for patients.
Autophagy, Membrane Biogenesis, Membrane Protein Trafficking
Autophagy and cancer biology
Autophagy and Cell death regulation