PoL – Physics of Life | Events Archive

Douglas Robinson: Cellular Form - The Basis of Healthy Function

Talk Abstract:
Our program seeks to determine how cells and tissues integrate chemical and mechanical information to guide normal growth and homeostasis with the ultimate goal of being able to guide these processes with small molecules for therapeutic purposes. To do this, our core research is focused on fundamental biomedical discovery, using genetic, biochemical, and cell biophysical approaches and small molecule screening with the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. We also apply our knowledge, tools, and chemical matter to the study of a variety of human diseases, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To accomplish our broad efforts, we collaborate closely with multiple engineers, scientists, and physician-scientists, creating a highly interdisciplinary ecosystem.

Five Representative Publications:
1. Luo T, Mohan K, Iglesias PA, Robinson DN. Molecular mechanisms of cellular mechanosensing. Nat.
Mater. 2013; 12: 1064-1071.
2. Surcel A, Ng W-P, West-Foyle H, Zhu Q, Ren Y, Avery L, Krenc AK, Meyers D, Rock RS, Anders RA, Freel
Meyers C, Robinson DN. Pharmacological activation of myosin II paralogs to correct cell mechanics
defects. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015; 112(5): 1428-1433.
3. Schiffhauer ES, Luo T, Mohan K, Srivastava V, Qian X, Griffis E, Iglesias PA, Robinson DN.
Mechanoaccumulative elements of the mammalian actin cytoskeleton. Curr. Biol. 2016; 26: 1473-1479.
4. Surcel A, Schiffhauer ES, Thomas DG, Zhu Q, DiNapoli K, Herbig M, Otto O, West-Foyle H, Jacobi A,
Kräter M, Plak K, Guck J, Jaffee EM, Iglesias PA, Anders RA, Robinson DN. Targeting
mechanoresponsive proteins in pancreatic cancer: 4-hydroxyacetophenone blocks dissemination and
invasion by activating MYH14. Cancer Res. 2019; 79: 4665-4678.
5. Kliment CR, Nguyen JMK, Kaltreider MJ, Lu YW, Claypool SM, Radder JE, Sciurba FC, Zhang Y, Gregory
AD, Iglesias PA, Sidhaye VK, Robinson DN. Adenine Nucleotide Translocase regulates airway epithelial
metabolism, surface hydration, and ciliary function. J. Cell Sci. 2021; 134(4): jcs257162.