Title: Utilizing signal transduction networks to inform functional endpoints
Speaker: Prof. Jonathan Boyd, West Virginia University School of Medicine
Time: June 14, Friday |3:00 pm
Venue: Building 24#-Room 206
Host: Prof. Youcai Zhang
Abstract: Humans are exposed daily to a milieu of mixed environmental signals and stressors, but an understanding of theircombined effects, and any potential prediction thereof, is extremely limited. Currently accepted approaches to determine the mechanistic response of living organisms to stressors often fail to capture the complexity associated with the integration of mixed messages that may be both pro-survival and pro-death. In contrast, all living systems are exceptionally advanced and efficient at maximizing energy production and use toward survival, given a diverse set of complex environmental cues; integrating and interpreting multiple, mixed signals is what all cells do each day for growth, differentiation, division, etc. In the Boyd Laboratory, we have used basic thermodynamic principles toexplore cell signaling integration in response to complex stressors, and myapproach simplifies to investigating the changes in energy metabolism (post-stressor exposure) that lead to an altered functional (and measurable) outcome. From this fundamental perspective, one is capable of monitoring any exposure(s) from the cell's point of view (via the integration of intracellular and extracellular proteins/peptides), which allows for the interpretation of mixed signals into a language that toxicologists can understand, namely functional toxic endpoints (e.g. cell death). I will present research that highlights the unique capabilities of measuring/interpreting signaling networks with an approach that is fundamentally driven by the interdependence of energy metabolism, signal transduction, and cell survival.