Functional genomic approaches for defining transcriptional networks important for cell growth and differentiation

Michael Ostrowski
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, The Ohio State University

(October 9, 2003 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM)

Functional genomic approaches for defining transcriptional networks important for cell growth and differentiation

Abstract

My lab has a long-standing interest in understanding how signaling pathways elicit selective changes in gene transcription in mammalian cells. We use a combination of genetic mouse models, molecular genetics, biochemistry and cell biology to attack these problems. Most recently, we have become interested in understanding interactions between signaling pathways locating in the different cell types involved in complex biological processes of cancer cell progression and normal cellular differentiation. For example, in vertebrate animals, bone is formed through the interactions between two cell types, cells that make bone (the osteoblasts) and cells that remodel bone (the osteoclast). There is exquisite communication between these cell types throughout life, and upsetting this balance results in disease states, for example, osteoporosis in humans. Understanding and targeting such intercellular networks of communication holds great promise for new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of many human diseases. Recent advances in genomics and functional genomics makes it possible to begin studying such complex networks of interaction that control the overall behavior of different cell types. It is clear that computational and statistical tools will be necessary to model these complex interactions.