Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Membranes, Organelles & Metabolism

The Membranes, Organelles and Metabolism Program (MOM) focuses on elucidating the structure and function of signal transduction and metabolic networks, determining how pathogens and developing tumors exploit these networks to promote cancer, and identifying signaling components as candidates for translation into therapies and biomarkers. MOM investigators have expertise in metabolism, pathogen-related oncogenesis, receptor-ligand interactions and membrane trafficking. They exploit model systems from human, to mouse, to C. elegans and yeast, to determine how signaling and metabolic adaptation drive cancer initiation and progression.

Scientific Aims

  1. Understand how cells utilize metabolic pathways to dictate cell proliferation, metabolic adaptation, and gene expression thereby modulating tumor growth
  2. Define the molecular mechanisms by which pathogens disrupt and/or utilize host pathways to stimulate tumorigenesis
  3. Determine how signal transduction pathways initiated from plasma membrane and/or organelles are integrated in cancer cells to promote tumorigenesis

Future Plans

  • Strengthen intra-programmatic collaborations and multi-PI team building
  • Stimulate metabolomics research in the Lurie Cancer Center
  • Move towards translating basic science discoveries from MOM into the clinic
  • Nurture links between metabolism and tumor immunology research

Program Leaders

  • Navdeep Chandel, PhD, an expert in cancer metabolism from the Pulmonary Division of the Department of Medicine
  • Curt M. Horvath PhD, an expert in interferon signaling and transcriptional regulation in normal and cancer cells from the Department of Molecular Biosciences