Cell Signaling Research Group
The main focus of our group is to understand how cells detect and respond to environmental changes. We have focused our studies on the characterization of the osmo-stress signal transduction pathways, especially those controlled by MAP kinases of the Hog1/p38 family, also known as the stress activated MAP kinases (SAPK). Using S. cerevisiae budding yeast, as a model organism, as well as higher eukaryotic cells, we study the molecular mechanisms required to respond to changes in the extracellular environment and also which are the adaptive responses required for cell survival. Proper adaptation to stress involves the modulation of several basic aspects of cell biology, such as the control of cell cycle and regulation of gene expression. We also analyze the basic signaling properties of the HOG pathway and how to alter it, based on quantitative data collection and mathematical modeling, together with mutational analyses. In addition, we have demonstrated that cellular communication using complex engineered networks can be implemented to perform in vivo cellular computation.