Welcome to the Toettcher Lab
How do cells decide when to differentiate, move, grow or die? Our mission is to map the information flow that directs these decisions: how cells measure their environment and neighboring cells to orchestrate an appropriate response. Although we have a relatively complete "parts list" of the proteins that connect input sensing to cell responses, we are only just starting to understand how they work together in specific cellular contexts.
To address these questions, the Toettcher lab operates at the interface of quantitative cell biology and engineering. We combine the best probes we can find for measuring cell outputs with an added twist: new, highly precise tools to control the inputs to each pathway. We apply these tools to measure signaling changes between cell types, map the landscape of possible responses that are available for each cell to choose from, and study how these processes are affected by diseases that "rewire" cell signaling, including cancer.