Thomas M. Roberts, PhD
Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School
Chair, Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
DF/HCC Program AffiliationProstate CancerBreast CancerCancer Cell Biology
Research in the Roberts laboratory is centered on the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction in response to activated tyrosine kinases. We pioneered structure/function studies on tyrosine kinases showing how tyrosine kinases such as pp60c-src are themselves regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation. The first definitive work on PI3'kinase was done by this lab in collaboration with that of Cantley and Schaffhausen. Similarly our lab first showed that the serine threonine kinase Raf-1 was regulated by mitogens and then helped to elucidate the pathway from p21ras to Raf to MAP kinases. More recently we first characterized the novel binding site used by the SHC protooncogene product to bind to receptors, and pointed out the interaction of the 14-3-3 molecules with key signal transducers. Finally we and our collaborators in the DeCaprio and Schaffhausen labs have showed how virus-encoded tumor antigens use molecular chaperones to direct the ubiquitin dependent degradation of phosphorylated forms of cell cycle control proteins. Currently we are working to clone and characterize new signaling molecules. The lab specializes in developing technologies for the study of signaling. These include the first synthetic gene for a tyrosine kinase (lck), the most widely used antiphosphotyrosine antibody, and the use of the zebrafish system for studying the role of signaling molecules in development.
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