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Proteins are essential for life, and much of the resources in cells are committed to the synthesis and proper folding of proteins. Our cells are constantly being exposed to environmental stresses that disrupt proteins and their functions. In response to stress, stress response pathways are activated to alleviate damage to cells. These pathways serve critical adaptive functions; however, disruptions in or unabated induction of the stress pathways can lead to a variety of human disease conditions.

Our research program strives to understand how the mechanisms of regulating protein synthesis and stress pathways contributes to the progression of many diseases including diabetes, liver disfunction, prostate cancer, wound healing and infectious diseases such as Toxoplasmosis.

Current Areas of Study


Translational Control and
the  Stress Response Pathways

Role of eIF2a Kinases in Translational Control and Adaptation to Cellular Stress.
Wek RC

Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 
2018 Jul ; 10(7) : a032870

Nutrition, Diabetes and Obesity and
the Stress Response

Discordant regulation of eIF2 kinase GCN2 and mTORC1 during nutrient stress.

Misra J, Holmes MJ, T Mirek E, Langevin M, Kim HG, Carlson KR, Watford M, Dong XC, Anthony TG, Wek RC

Nucleic Acid Research 2021 June4:49(10):5726-5742.

11.27.23Prostate cells HE GCN2 stainV680%.jpg

Prostate Cancer and
the Stress Response

GCN2 eiF2 kinase promotes prostate cancer by maintaining amino acid homeostasis.

Cordova RA, Misra J, Amin PH, Klunk AJ, Damayanti NP, Carlson KR, Elmendorf AJ, Kim HG, Mirek ET, Elzey BD, Miller MJ, Dong XC, Cheng L, Anthony TG, Pili R, Wek RC, Staschke KA.

eLife 2022 11:e81083.

Wound Healing, UV Damage
and the Stress Response

The eIF2 kinase GCN2 directs keratinocyte collective cell migration during wound healing via coordination of reactive oxygen species and amino acids.

Miles RR, Amin PH, Diaz MB, Misra J, Aukerman E, Das A, Ghosh N, Guith T, Knierman MD, Roy S, Spandau DF, Wek RC.

J Biol Chem. 2021 Nov;297(5):101257.

11.21.23eIF2 stain skin explant V3.jpg

eIF2a stained human skin explant

Toxo cyst.jpg

Toxoplasmosis and
the Stress Response

Host sensing and signal transduction during Toxoplasma stage conversion.

Augusto L, Wek RC, Sullivan WJ

J Mol Microbiol. 2021 May;115(5):839-848.


tRNA model

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