Appointment of Dr. P. Michael Conn as Senior Vice President for Research, Associate Provost, and Professor of Internal Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry
FEATURED SCIENTIST:: Dr. Schneider's laboratory uses genetic, biochemical, and molecular tools to investigate the intricate connection between cellular proliferation, cell size, and aging.
In cancer, for example, cells are hyper-proliferative but are thought not to age. In contrast, heart disease is brought on in part by the inability of old cells to regenerate damaged tissue.
My lab has recently made the interesting finding that proliferative capacity and the rate at which cells age appears to be linked to cell size. Because enzymes known as G1-phase cyclin dependent kinases (Cdks) modulate cell size, we hypothesize that the failure of dividing cancer cells to age/die, and the inability of old cells to proliferate is mechanistically linked to G1-phase Cdk activity. Thus, the major objectives of our lab are to dissect the molecular mechanisms that link G1-phase Cdk activity to cell size and to dissect the genetic pathways that that connect cell size regulation to proliferative capacity and lifespan determination in both yeast and mammalian cells.