Research Associate Professor
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Health Science Center, L-15, 15023
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8155
Phone: (631) 444-7445
BS/summa cum laude: Biological Sciences, Tor Vergata-Roma II University, Rome, Italy, 1993
PhD: Oncology, Catholic University of Rome, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy, 1997
Research in my lab focuses on regulation of sphingolipid signaling and the impact that its dysregulation might have on certain diseases, such as specific types of cancers. In particular, we focus on the study of the mammalian enzymes sphingomyelin synthases (SMS1 and SMS2) and their regulation of lipid mediated signaling through controlling the levels of ceramide and diacylglycerol (DAG). In fact, SMSs can directly regulate in opposing directions the levels of these two important bioactive lipids, which often exert opposing roles in the regulation of fundamental cellular functions such as protein trafficking/secretion, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis.
The laboratory focuses on two main lines of research:
- The role of SMS1 and SMS2 in regulating DAG-mediated protein trafficking and secretion at the Trans Golgi Network (TGN) and the impact of such regulation on specific cargo molecules such as insulin and antimicrobial molecules.
- The role and function of SMS1 and SMS2 in the development and/or progression of cancer, in particular leukemias and lung cancer.