faculty

Chair

    Marc W. Kirschner Ph.D.

    The Kirschner lab studies spatial organization and temporal control in several different biological contexts, including the cell cycle, the cytoskeleton, and embryonic development. They also study a number of important signaling pathways, notably the Wnt pathway and various post-translational modification systems.

Department Faculty

Visiting Faculty

    Roy Kishony Ph.D.

    The Kishony lab is interested in understanding the system-level architecture of genetic networks and the interplay between their design and the evolutionary process. They combine theoretical and experimental approaches to study epistasis networks – networks that describe how perturbations (mutations or drugs) in a given biological system combine to aggravate or alleviate each other’s effect on a phenotype.

Lecturers & Instructors

    Gavin MacBeath Ph.D.

    The MacBeath lab is interested in  identifying, characterizing, and perturbing large collections of proteins or protein domains as a first step in understanding how the cell exploits molecular recognition to regulate complex processes such as protein trafficking, intercellular communication, growth factor signaling, and apoptosis.

    Laura Maliszewski Ph.D.

    Laura Maliszewski, PhD joined HMS in September 2012 to manage the development of the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology and the Harvard Program in Therapeutic Science. She served previously as an Officer in the Science and Innovation Network of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, developing a broad portfolio of research collaborations in regenerative medicine, health economics and stratified medicine.

    Mario Niepel Ph.D.

    A key challenge in treating cancer is the wide range of effectiveness of current targeted therapeutics and the rapid development of resistance. I am trying to understand the mechanisms of drug responses and development of resistance using established breast cancer cell lines as a model system, since they mirror much of the behavior and heterogeneity of primary disease. I mainly study therapeutic drugs and ligands to receptor tyrosine kinases that modulate signaling through the ErbB family and the PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, which are particularly important in the development and treatment of breast and ovarian cancer. Ultimately, a detailed understanding of drug action will move us towards the development of a more personalized medicine, where tumors from each patient are analyzed on a molecular level so they can be treated with specifically tailored drugs or combinations that have been predicted to maximize efficacy and minimize the risk of resistance and toxicity.

    I focus most of my work on proteins, rather than genomic measures, since they are both the key effectors of cellular function and the targets of the drugs. In my research I combine a variety of protein profiling methods, detailed measurements of phenotypic responses, and biochemical investigation into drug action. I analyze the data by statistical and computational methods to identify both predictors of drug response and the causal determinants drug sensitivities.

    Caroline Shamu Ph.D.

    Dr. Shamu is the Director of the ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility. The ICCB-Longwood Investigator Initiated Screening Program assists academic researchers in carrying out high-throughput screens of chemical and RNAi libraries to identify new tools for biological research. In addition to her expertise in implementing new high throughput assay technologies, Dr.Shamu is active in the development of data standards and repositories for large-scale datasets from high-throughput assays.

Affiliated Faculty

    James Collins Ph.D.

    James J. Collins is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a William F. Warren Distinguished Professor, University Professor, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Medicine and Co-Director of the Center for BioDynamics at Boston University. He is also a core founding faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

    L. Mahadevan Ph.D.

    The Mahadevan group is interested in understanding the organization of matter in space and time, particularly at the scale observable by our unaided senses. We use a combination of techniques to pursue this, ranging from simple observations of phenomena to quantitative experiments and theory.

Department Fellows

    Mohammed AlQuraishi PhD.

    Dr. AlQuraishi's research interests lie at the intersection of systems and structural biology. He aims to obtain a systems-level understanding of biological processes through a molecular-level understanding of biological structures and their interactions. Towards that end he is developing computational methods for predicting the binding partners and quantitative binding affinities of biological molecules from their atomic structure.

    Martin Loose Ph.D.

    Dr. Loose's  research goal is to investigate the mechanisms of biochemical self-organization. He is particularly interested in how minimal protein systems are able to organize intracellular space and how these biochemical modules are conserved or change during evolution. For this he mainly uses biochemical approaches and microscopic techniques.

     

    Justin Meyer, Ph.D.

    Evolution is notoriously hard to predict primarily because a key population genetic term remains undefined: the fitness landscape. While often depicted in two dimensions, with hills and valleys, true fitness landscapes are many-dimensional with complicated interactions that cannot be described by the simple slopes of a hill. Until recently, the technology did not exist to permit direct experimental determination of landscapes. And even now, the technology is slow and much too laborious to capture the enormous size and dimensionality of landscapes.

    Jeanne Salje Ph.D.

    One of the fundamental problems in biology is how the individual components of a cell act together to form the dynamic and responsive structure that is a living cell. E. coli is an excellent model system for studying basic questions of cellular self organisation due to the topological simplicity that results from a lack of membrane-bound subcellular organelles, the extensive knowledge of components that comes from decades of dedicated research, as well as the fact that as a single celled organism it is not subjected to organism-level complexity.