Mechanisms of Cell and Tissue Growth
Research in the Edgar Lab focuses on the mechanisms that regulate cell growth and proliferation in Drosophila, in human cells, and in the gut epithelium of mice. We use genetics to characterize the programs of cell growth and proliferation that occur during development, tissue maintenance, regeneration, and tumorigenesis, with the goal of finding the genes that act as limiting regulators in each context. We seek to understand how networks of genes and communities of cells in a tissue function as integrated systems that regulate tissue growth according to the needs of the organism. Techniques in use in the lab range from classical and molecular genetics, to high resolution and live imaging, to whole genome gene expression, chromatin, and metabolome profiling.
Current projects in the lab fall in two areas. One set of projects focuses on the mechanisms of stem cell control and epithelial self-renewal in the intestines of Drosophila and mice. A second set of projects addresses how proliferation is controlled by metabolism and growth factor signaling in Drosophila, mice, and human cells. For all of our projects, the over-arching goal is to define new mechanisms involved in cell and tissue growth control that are relevant to basic paradigms in cell and developmental biology, and to issues of human health such as cancer, chronic inflammation, and regenerative medicine.