Formation and maintenance of cellular polarity requires the action of polarity complexes, signaling molecules, cytoskeletal elements, and the regulated trafficking of proteins to specific membrane domains. Our groups study the intricate networks that regulate polarity and intracellular trafficking in a variety of systems including epithelial cells, neurons, and cells of the immune system. In epithelial cells, loss of polarity can result in kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and lung disease. Neurons require polarity to establish and maintain connections between the neural circuits. Effective immunity requires proper trafficking of important effector molecules, and these pathways are often disrupted by pathogens to evade the immune response. Importantly, these diverse cell types use similar machineries to establish and maintain polarity, as well as to mediate intracellular trafficking of membrane proteins.
Cell Polarity and Intracellular Trafficking
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Director, Willed Body Program
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Cancer Biology GIDP
Professor, Neuroscience GIDP
The Wilson laboratory works on the establishment and maintenance of the integrity of the intestine through the regulation of membrane trafficking to the apical plasma membrane domain.