Research Interest: Extracellular matrix regulation of cell functions
Jean Schwarzbauer Biography »
Greg HarrisPostdoctoral Fellow
Research Interest: Peripheral and spinal cord nerve injuries affect millions of people each year. In many instances, nerve repair requires regeneration of nerve fibers across a large gap created by the injury. Using a tissue engineering approach that combines biomaterials with native extracellular matrix, I am investigating the effects of physical and chemical signals on neurite alignment and extension across injured tissue.
Maria VegaPostdoctoral Fellow
Research Interest: In diabetic kidney disease, elevated blood sugar levels cause the over-production of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, which clog the glomeruli that filter blood into urine. This is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States but unfortunately current therapies are unable to reverse the accumulation of the glomerular ECM. Using a kidney cell culture model, we plan to clarify how high glucose can promote the accumulation of the extracellular matrix, in hopes to discover new targets for potential therapeutic for this deadly disease.
Research Interest: Mutations in other matrix proteins such as elastin and collagen been instrumental in understanding how these proteins function, are processed by the cell, and their significance in normal physiology and pathology. In contrast, mutations to aid the study of FN are historically non-existent. The recent discovery of a point mutation in a FN self-association domain represents a powerful opportunity to study how the FN matrix is assembled and how reductions in matrix affect cellular behavior.
Research Interest: Fibronectin is necessary for a collagen matrix to be present, but fibronectin's role in collagen matrix assembly has yet to be established. I am investigating how the fibronectin matrix as well as its associated proteins influence collagen matrix assembly.
Research Interest: Intermolecular fibronectin-fibronectin interactions contribute to fibril formation, and in mature fibrils these interactions are irreversible as well as detergent insoluble. It is unknown what sites on fibronectin specifically contribute to these irreversible.
Research Interest: The role of the fibronectin matrix in collagen processing and nascent fibrillogenesis is largely unknown. My work focuses on understanding how the fibronectin matrix and its associated proteins are involved in these initial processes that lead to collagen matrix formation.
Visiting Research Collaborator
Graduate Student MD/PhD
Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow