About Us

About Us

The focus of my current research is to understand mechanisms of cellular signaling at the level of the primary cilia, and its relevance to human health and disease.

My first experience in hands-on research was as a medical student, when I studied the tyrosine kinase signaling pathways important in human platelet activation. During my graduate years, I utilized the model organism C. elegans to study the mechanisms that determine the distinctive ciliary morphology of their sensory neurons. We discovered that the membrane architecture of the olfactory sensory cilia is patterned by coincidental signaling inputs, suggesting that cilia are not just static antennae, but organelles whose structures are remodeled by their signaling activities. Incidentally, this was a very exciting period in ciliary research, because the near-complete parts list of the primary cilia was being discovered by multiple groups.

Therefore, in my postdoctoral years, I could not resist the opportunity to use high-confidence proteomic approaches to identify novel effectors of conserved ciliary complexes (such as the IFT-A complex) in compartmentalizing signaling modules. In particular, our identification of the potentially broad role of the IFT-A effector, TULP3, in regulating ciliary GPCR trafficking provides intriguing insights into molecular mechanisms regulating ciliary function in diverse processes, such as in neural tube development and neuronal control of obesity.

My current and future research aims at utilizing a variety of biochemical, cell biological and reverse genetic approaches to understanding signaling mediated by cilia, and dissecting their role during cell cycle control and carcinogenesis.