Steven E. Artandi, MD, PhD
Steven Artandi’s laboratory studies fundamental mechanisms in cancer and stem cell biology and their importance in human disease. His work focuses on biochemical and genetic approaches to dissect the function of telomerase, the enzyme complex that adds telomere repeats to chromosome ends. These approaches have led to the identification of new components of the human telomerase holoenzyme and proteins required to assemble the telomerase complex. His laboratory is investigating how many of these telomerase components cause a rare bone marrow failure syndrome, dyskeratosis congenita. In parallel, his laboratory has discovered new mechanisms of telomerase action, whereby telomerase serves an active role in a stem cell signaling pathway that controls the fate of stem cells and progenitor cells. His laboratory actively investigates this new mechanism of telomerase action and seeks to better understand how the telomerase complex acts on telomeres. These two functions of telomerase are likely coupled to ensure efficient telomere maintenance and proliferation or self-renewal in cancer cells and in tissue stem cells.