Photograph taken by Frank DiMeo

Photograph taken by Frank DiMeo


Richard A. Cerione

Goldwin Smith Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

Molecular Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine/Chemistry and Chemical Biology, College of Arts and Sciences

Biochemical, structural, genetic, and small-molecule chemistry

Current Research Interest
Biological signaling pathways involved in cell growth and differentiation, with particular emphasis on cancer progression and neurogenesis



The research efforts of my laboratory have focused on understanding how cellular signaling pathways influence cell growth and differentiation, as well as how aberrant signaling activities lead to disease states such as cancer and other disorders.  The laboratory is multi-disciplinary using various cell systems and mouse models to identify novel signaling events that influence fundamentally important biological processes, and chemistry and structural approaches to define the molecular basis for these events.  Three major areas of interest are currently being pursued.

The first involves the development and application of structural methods to gain a more complete picture of how G proteins become activated and transmit signals within the context of the cell membrane.  The second involves the use of small molecule chemistry to identify novel pathways necessary to satisfy the bioenergetics and metabolic requirement of cancer cells to proliferate at high rates and become invasive, with the ultimate goal of defining new strategies for therapeutic intervention.  The third focuses on the recent identification of a new class of membrane vesicles that are shed by cancer cells and stem cells, with the goal being to understand how these vesicles play critical roles in the development of the malignant state and in stem cell biology.


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