• Name: Allan Albig, Ph.D.
  • Institution: Boise State University
  • Department: Biology
  • Phone: 208-426-1541
  • Email: AllanAlbig@boisestate.edu

Summary: Under normal circumstances, blood vessels are critical for transporting various substances to and from all tissues of the body. Many human diseases however feature either excessive or insufficient numbers of blood vessels as a component of their pathology. Therefore, Dr. Albig’s research seeks to understand the basic mechanisms by which blood vessel growth, maintenance, and removal are controlled to help facilitate better treatments for these diseases. In order to design new drugs to manipulate angiogenesis, we first need to understand the molecules and molecular mechanisms which control angiogenesis in our bodies. Research has shown that the extracellular matrix (ECM) within the vascular microenvironment around blood vessels is a rich source of both positive and negative regulators of angiogenesis. Therefore, a major aspect of the research conducted in the Albig lab is focused on discovering ECM molecules that regulate angiogenesis and dissecting the molecular mechanisms by which these molecules function.

Minimum Classes: Cell Biology, Genetics

Projects: Identification and Characterization of an Integrin – Notch signaling Axis. Integrins are cell surface receptor proteins that interact with extracellular proteins. The Notch signaling pathway is important for angiogenesis. Our research has found that some Extracellular matrix proteins manipulate Notch indirectly by interacting with integrin proteins. This project seeks to discover how this happens. Individual projects will determine if all integrins interact with Notch, if all Notch proteins interact with integrins, which extracellular matrix proteins manipulate Notch in this way, and how integrins affect Notch signaling. Students involved in these studies will learn how to culture mammalian cells, and basic molecular biology techniques such as western blots, reverse-transcription PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, and construction of recombinant DNA molecules.

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