Kornfeld Lab Research


Research in the Kornfeld laboratory is focused in two areas. The first is cell fate determination during animal development. This project includes analyzing zinc metabolism and homeostasis, since we discovered that zinc has important effects on signaling during development. The second is aging, and these projects include investigating drugs that extend lifespan and mechanisms and consequences of aging in the reproductive system.

Cell Fate Determination and Zinc Metabolism

Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)-Ras-extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) MAP kinase pathways are important for animal development and cancer. Intercellular signaling plays a fundamental role in coordinating different cells during development. Our research is focused on a RTK-Ras-ERK signal transduction pathway that has been highly conserved during evolution and controls many different cell fate choices during the development of vertebrates, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila.
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CDF-2 zinc transporter protein is localized to the membrane of lysosome-related organelles
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Aging is an important biological process that profoundly affects human health. Aging is observed throughout the animal and plant kingdoms. In humans, age-related degenerative changes play a central role in impairing the function of elderly people (Figure 1). Age-related degenerative changes impair a wide variety of systems. For example, central nervous system changes include age-related memory loss and reduction of cognitive function, and the age-related reduction of muscular strength, or sarcopenia, is a serious problem for many elderly people. The specific causes of these age-related degenerative changes are not well defined, and at present there is no treatment that delays normal age-related degenerative changes in humans.
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The anticonvulsant medicine ethosuximide extends C. elegans lifespan
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This page last edited March 25, 2015
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