I am a basic scientist who devotes the majority (90%) of his time and attention to investigating intracellular signaling pathways that govern cellular responses. The resulting insights are used to advance our understanding of pathology, and to develop new therapeutic options for patients afflicted by disease. Intrinsic to this type of undertaking is the training of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and clinical fellows. The remainder of my time (10%) is devoted to administrative activities and traditional (classroom-based) teaching of graduate and undergraduate students.
My laboratory is contributing to two research areas: intracellular signaling events that govern angiogenesis, and the role of growth factors in human disease. The angiogenesis projects are developing from our recent discovery of an internal destabilization pathway that controls the stability of blood vessels. We are identifying essential components of this pathway, and assessing their role in the pathogenesis of endemic, blinding conditions such as proliferative diabetic retinopathy and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. The growth factor projects emanate from our surprising observation that a non-traditional route to activate growth factor receptors is particularly important for the appearance of pathology. These findings have provided new opportunities to develop effective therapeutic strategies and thereby improve health care and the quality of life for patients.
In summary, the overall goal of my research is to elucidate the principles by which intracellular signaling controls the behavior of cells, and thereby provide the conceptual foundation for development of improved therapeutic options, especially in the field of ophthalmology.