Cellular response to stress signals

Identification of sensing and repair signaling pathways in response to external stress and damages

The plasma membrane provides a selective barrier between the cell and the environment and is essential for the life of unicellular and multicellular organisms. The plasma membrane can be breached by mechanical or biochemical stress, leading to loss of cell integrity and function, contributing to the pathology of many inflammatory conditions. Cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to repair membrane damage and maintain cellular homeostasis. However, our understanding of how membrane damage is sensed and linked to repair, and how these mechanisms are activated in target cells remains incomplete.

The Stefani lab is working on studying mechanisms of sensing and repair to various stress and damages, including ER stress, bacterial toxins, and ion imbalance. To understand those signaling pathways, we use a combination of genetic and new imaging-based screens to link genotypes to cell phenotypes.

Stefani Research Project Inline - Cell Painting