Dr. Sunil Laxman
NUTRIENT SENSING AND METABOLIC REGULATION OF CELL FATES
Our lab is interested in understanding 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.
(3) The evolution of metabolic pathways
(4) How metabolism enables specialization, division of labor, cooperation and conflict in cell groups.
(5) Resource allocation strategies within and between cells (6) Coupling of mitochondrial and cytosolic function
Beyond our scientific discoveries, we are passionate about training the next generation of scientists. Past members have gone on to successful careers in research, teaching, industry, policy and entrepreneurship. The lab has exciting opportunities for cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research at the interface of biology and engineering, and we are always interested in hearing from prospective students and postdocs who want to join our team.