Translational Control and  

   the Stress Response Pathways

     Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes

     Role of the UPR in Nonalcoholic                 Fatty Liver Disease

Proteins are essential for life, and much of the resources in cells are committed to the synthesis and proper folding of proteins. Synthesis of proteins is dynamic. In response to environmental or physiological stresses, cells rapidly repress protein synthesis, which allows cells to conserve resources and reduce the accumulation of unfolded proteins. Along with this reduction in protein synthesis cells activate stress response pathways, which serve to alleviate damage. These stress response pathways serve essential adaptive functions; however, disruptions in or unabated induction of these stress responses can trigger morbidity. In this way, stress response pathways, which serve critical adaptive functions that ameliorate cellular damage in response to environmental stresses, become maladaptive. Our research program strives to understand the mechanisms regulating protein synthesis and stress response pathways and how these processes are beneficial or adverse in a given biomedical context. This research is important for understanding the progression of many diseases, including diabetes, cancer and neurological diseases, and will provide for development of new biomarkers and therapeutic treatments.