How do cells choose their fate?

Our Science

The Atwood lab is interested in how cells choose their fate. We focus on protein kinase regulation of signaling pathways and transcription factors, using models of skin cancer and skin and hair follicle development to determine how kinases influence fate by controlling the genetic landscape of the cell.

Recent Work

Smoothened variants explain the majority of drug resistance in basal cell carcinoma
We identified two classes of Smoothened mutations that either inherently drive basal cell carcinoma growth and drug resistance or are aquired after drug treatment. Importantly, we show that both classes of Smoothened variants respond to aPKC-ι/λ or GLI2 inhibitors that operate downstream of Smoothened, setting the stage for the clinical use of GLI antagonists.
Cancer Cell. 27(3):342-53. Link PDF