Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery--Rm 6124
900 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
The Oakes laboratory studies how mammalian cells sense protein-folding crises within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and deterministically repair the damage or undergo apoptosis. Defects in responding to ER stress have been linked to a diverse collection of human diseases, including diabetes, neurodegeneration, and cancer. Our group has made fundamental discoveries about the pro-survival and pro-death signals sent from the stress sensor proteins at the ER membrane and contributed to the development of novel pharmacological approaches to control these signaling outputs. Our ultimate goal is to understand the precise molecular events that control cell fate in response to ER stress so that we can design small molecules to protect against cell loss in human degenerative diseases such as neurodegeneration and diabetes and to promote cell death in highly secretory tumors such as myeloma.