Principal InvestigatorSehamuddin Galadari
Senior Vice Provost of Research; Managing Director, Research Institute; Professor of Biology
After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
Around one million cells die every second in our body! These are not random events, but part of a finely tuned biological mechanism referred to as programmed cell death (PCD). This biological phenomenon plays key roles in a variety of biological processes ranging from embryonic development to maintenance of immunity. Hence, PCD is an essential process for staying healthy and maintaining biological homeostasis. Many diseases are frequently associated with excessive, reduced, or inappropriate cell death. For instance, cancer cells can avoid programmed cell death, which helps them grow in harsh conditions and resist treatment. Impaired cell death has also been implicated in other diseases such as diabetes mellitus, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.
There are several different ways that a cell can die, including apoptosis, autophagy, and necroptosis. Indeed, several decades of devoted research has unveiled and has even characterized (in greater detail) the morphological features and signaling mechanisms involved in these programmed cell death pathways. However, the field of PCD is continuously expanding as novel cell death mechanisms such as ferroptosis and oxeiptosis are being identified. Deciphering signaling pathways of PCD is likely to provide a fruitful target for therapeutic manipulation which may ultimately help scientists in the development of novel drugs in the treatment of diseases such as cancer.
Our research focuses on basic and translational aspects of various programmed cell death pathways. Using cutting edge biochemical, molecular, genetic, and cell biological approaches, we are unraveling the mechanisms that control various PCD pathways. Most of our research is performed in cancer models. Therefore, we seek to understand how the regulatory networks underlying PCD processes can be effectively manipulated for the development of new anticancer therapeutic strategies.