Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction
After receiving a B.S. in Microbiology and a M.S. in Biochemistry I received a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University in 2001 where I studied core signaling pathways regulating cell survival in the laboratory of John Blenis. I then moved to Seattle where I studied signaling pathways regulating brain development for two years in the laboratory of Jonathan Cooper at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I then moved back to Boston where I completed my postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Steven Gygi where I studied mass spectrometry and proteomics for three years. In 2006 I joined the Department of Biology at the University of Vermont.
Research in the Ballif lab is primarily focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms of signal transduction with two major emphases: (A) genetically-defined signaling pathways regulating mammalian brain development and (B) core signaling pathways regulating cell proliferation, growth and survival. In addition to biochemical and cell biological approaches, we employ mass spectrometry-based proteomics as a primary tool to simultaneously monitor hundreds to thousands of proteins, their modifications and their interactions with other proteins following acute signal administration or across developmental stages.
A second focus of our work involves developing and applying proteomic methodology to advance diverse lines of biological inquiry, some of which have had little to no interface with proteomics. This makes these projects both exciting and challenging. These collaborative projects range from the identification of novel human blood group antigens; to the identification of host proteins that interact with arenavirus proteins; to targeted proteomic characterizations of wasps, pitcher plant ecosystems, ants, fruit flies, unicellular ciliates and parasitic protozoa.
Galan JA, Geraghty KM, Lavoie G, Kanshin E, Tcherkezian J, Calabrese V, Jeschke GR, Turk BE, Ballif BA, Blenis J, Thibault P, Roux PP (2014) Phosphoproteomic analysis identifies the tumor suppressor PDCD4 as a RSK substrate negatively regulated by 14-3-3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(29): E2918-27.
Tang Q, Andenmatten N, Triana MA, Deng B, Meissner M, Moreno SN, Ballif BA, Ward GE (2014) Calcium-dependent phosphorylation alters Class XIVa myosin function in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Mol Biol Cell in press.
Leung JM, Tran F, Pathak RB, Poupart S, Heaslip AT, Ballif BA, Westwood NJ, Ward GE (2014) Identification of T. gondii myosin light chain-1 as a direct target of TachypleginA-2, a small-molecule inhibitor of parasite motility and invasion. PLoS One 9(6): e98056.
Engel U, Zhan Y, Long JB, Boyle SN, Ballif BA, Dorey K, Gygi SP, Koleske AJ, Vanvactor D (2014) Abelson phosphorylation of CLASP2 modulates its association with microtubules and actin. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken) 71(3): 195-209.
Lopez-Osorio F, Pickett KM, Carpenter JM, Ballif BA, Agnarsson I (2014) Phylogenetic relationships of yellowjackets inferred from nine loci (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Vespinae, Vespula and Dolichovespula). Mol Phylogenet Evol 73: 190-201.
Purmessur D, Guterl CC, Cho SK, Cornejo MC, Lam YW, Ballif BA, Laudier JC, Iatridis JC (2013) Dynamic pressurization induces transition of notochordal cells to a mature phenotype while retaining production of important patterning ligands from development. Arthritis Res Ther 15(5): R122.
Klaus JP, Eisenhauer P, Russo J, Mason AB, Do D, King B, Taatjes D, Cornillez-Ty C, Boyson JE, Thali M, Zheng C, Liao L, Yates JR 3rd, Zhang B, Ballif BA, Botten JW (2013) The intracellular cargo receptor ERGIC-53 is required for the production of infectious arenavirus, coronavirus, and filovirus particles. Cell Host Microbe 14(5): 522-34.
Department of Biology
Office: 311 Marsh
Lab: 304 Marsh
Recent CMB Blog Posts