The Kavran lab is interested in understanding the molecular basis of signaling pathways. Our goal is to dissect these biological processes into their essential components and define their activities on a molecular, biochemical, and biophysical level.
How big should an eye grow? When should a cell stop dividing? The wrong answer may have potentially dire consequences. During development, the interrelated decisions of cell fate, size, and number are controlled by a few key pathways including the Hippo pathway. In addition to its role during development, Hippo pathway also has a role in stem cell maintenance, tissue regeneration and tumorigenesis making it an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Despite its importance in human health, the molecular regulation of this pathway is poorly understood and ripe for investigation. The Kavran Lab seeks to determine the molecular mechanism governing the activity of the Hippo pathway using a combination of biochemistry, structural biology, and cell based assays.