DeSimone, Douglas W.

Douglas W. DeSimone

Douglas W. DeSimone

Primary Appointment

Professor, Cell Biology

Contact Information

PO Box 800732
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Telephone: 434-924-2172

Research Interests

Cell Adhesion and Adhesion-Dependent Cell Signaling in Vertebrate Morphogenesis

Research Description

Research in the DeSimone laboratory centers on the problem of morphogenesis, which is the process biological systems use to generate form and develop increasingly complex structures needed to carry out the specialized functions of tissues, organs and whole organisms. We are interested in elucidating how the linear" information encoded in genomes is played out over time to yield the fantastic variety of 3-dimensional biological form that we associate with all multi-celled organisms. Our specific research focus is the regulation of cell adhesion and adhesion-dependent cell signaling pathways important for directing cell motility and polarity in amphibian embryos. One central hypothesis is that the embryonic extracellular matrix (ECM) serves to define compartments within which cell movements are confined and restricted. We have established that integrin signaling is involved in the maintenance of planar cell polarity and the regulation of cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion. Thus