The Parson's lab focuses on signal transduction cascades initiated by growth factors and extracellular matrix-integrin interactions regulate cell adhesion and migration, cell growth and differentiation, and cancer cell growth and metastasis. Ongoing efforts focus on the role of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in mediating signals from the extracellular matrix through integrin receptors. FAK and its interacting partners play a central role in propagating signals that regulate cell motility. Using "real time" imaging models coupled with biochemical analysis of adhesion signaling pathways, they are studying the role of FAK and adhesion signaling pathways in important and interesting cellular processes, including development, vascular function and cancer. A second area focuses on the novel actin binding protein, Cortactin. Cortactin regulates actin-dependent mechanisms important for membrane ruffling, endocytosis and cell motility.
Part of The Investigator's Annexe program.