Secreted proteins coordinate functions of organs and organisms, and compose a yet uncharacterized communication network. For example, in homeostasis, fat-derived adipokines leptin and adiponectin serve as inter-organ secreted metabolic regulators, and in behavior, major urinary proteins serve as inter-organism excreted pheromones regulating aggression. Secreted factors are also relevant for disease: resulting from poorly-characterized dysfunctional inter-organ signaling, obesity affects 40% of the US population. Despite their relevance for understanding novel biological processes and diseases, identifying the secreted proteins involved has been challenging. Existing analysis methods have serious limitations that preclude comprehensive identification of low-abundance factors and their origins and destinations. Thus, many additional physiologically- and disease-relevant factors remain to be identified. To address this, our new lab will broadly aim to apply novel high-throughput quantitative approaches we developed to inter-organ and inter-organism communication, in order to understand the nature of the signals involved, which tissue(s) they originate from and target, their functions, and how they are regulated in stress or disease.
We have been using Drosophila as a model, as fly organs and signaling pathways in physiology (e.g. leptin), neural development, and behavior are conserved. We are now extending our work to mammals. Click on the areas below to find out more!
Our lab is actively hiring!
I firmly believe that the success of the lab lies in the people. I will work on the growth of each lab member by teaching the skills necessary to be successful in any scientific discipline. To do this, we will hold regular one-on-one meetings, group meetings, and social events (physically distanced for now!). During our meetings, the emphasis will be on your personal and scientific development, as well as the technical aspects of the work. Every year, during our annual summary meetings, we will complete and discuss Individual Development Plans. We aim to foster an environment of mutual respect, friendship, diligence, creativity, dedication, and, most of all, curiosity!
Please send your CV and a short description of your scientific interests to idroujinine [at] scripps [dot] edu.