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Department of Biological Sciences

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Biology of Cellular Stress

Stresses to cells and organisms originate from a variety of sources, including mechanical injury, pathogens, toxic compounds in the environment, naturally occurring agents that damage cells such as ultraviolet light, nutrient or oxygen deprivation, and many more.  These cellular stressors damage macromolecules, cells, and organisms in several ways from altering the normal function of cells and tissues to perturbing the growth and reproduction of the organism.  Consequently organisms have evolved many strategies to respond to stresses, such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, senescence, inflammation and immunity that ensure efficient recovery and reestablish homeostasis. The inability to manage cellular and organismal stress often leads to disease and underlies the aging process. Our research groups study cell and organismal stress and the response to stress in the context of plant pathogenesis, DNA damage, viral infection, growth factor dysregulation, oxygen deprivation, among others.

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