The Barbieri research group is interested in the following two areas of research.
Endocytosis and Signal transduction How the small GTP Rab5, is linked to the oncogene Ras, tyrosine receptor kinases and other intracellular signaling molecules. This pathway may provide a model for understanding how receptor ligand interaction regulates intracellular trafficking while simultaneously generating proliferative signals in normal and disease cells.
Phagocytosis and signal transduction Internalization of pathogens into the phagocytic vacuoles is a critical component of the innate immune response. Following formation, the phagocytic vacuoles (i.e. phagosomes) interact with the endocytic compartment. This process (i.e. phagosome maturation) involves multiple fusion and fission events with the endomembrane system, which in turn, culminate with the formation of the phagolysosome. We are using the Fc receptor as model to determine the factors that initiate and coordinate the phagosome maturation process.