Dr. Sunil Laxman
NUTRIENT SENSING AND METABOLIC REGULATION OF CELL FATES
Our lab is interested in understanding various forms of chemical information flow within and between cells. Depending on the specific context, or “metabolic state”, a cell can undergo different fates ranging from growth, division, differentiation and autophagy to a commitment to cell death. This metabolic state of a cell is controlled by available nutrients, which are sensed by specialized metabolic sensors. To understand cell states, and cell fate decisions, we study metabolites, how these metabolites are sensed, and build systems level frameworks to understand how this information is transferred within and between cells. Areas of research include:
(1) Logic and organizational principles of metabolic regulation and networks
(2) "Special" metabolites that control cell states, fates, form and function, and resource allocation strategies between cells.
(3) The evolution of metabolic pathways
(4) How metabolism enables specialization, division of labor, cooperation and conflict in cell groups.