Kenneth M. Yamada, MD, PhD, Chief
The overall goal of the Cell Biology Section is to understand the mechanisms of cell interactions in embryonic development by determining the molecular basis of cell adhesion, cell migration, and tissue morphogenesis, and by elucidating the regulation and intracellular pathways of response to cell surface interactions. Research team members focus on studies of functional mechanisms of fibronectin and related adhesion molecules, integrins, and molecules that regulate embryonic cell interactions with ECM and other cells. Areas of intense current investigation include the molecular basis of fibronectin-mediated adhesion, integrin-mediated signal transduction and control of the cytoskeleton, regulation of these processes, and their biological roles. This knowledge will ultimately be used for the characterization and therapy of relevant diseases and disorders (e.g., by using biologically active polypeptides, antibodies, and bioengineered structures).