Kenneth Irvine studies how cells communicate with each other during animal development to regulate organ size and shape. He seeks to elucidate molecular mechanisms involved in controlling organ growth, and how different factors, such as nutrition, mechanical tension, and intercellular signaling pathways are integrated. Understanding how organs normally form can help us understand what goes wrong in congenital diseases where organs are abnormal in size or shape, or in tumors where inappropriate, unconstrained growth occurs.
Analysis of Fat and Hippo Signaling
The Fat and Hippo signaling pathways control growth during normal development and, when dysregulated, are associated with cancer and other diseases. This pathway is conserved from Drosophila to humans. My lab uses both Drosophila and cultured mammalian cells to study this pathway and its developmental and physiological functions. A summer student will work with other lab members on genetic, biochemical, and cell biological characterization of components of this pathway and their regulation. The student will learn basic techniques and approaches in genetics, cell biology, and microscopy.