Dr. Milgram studies cell signaling and protein trafficking in polarized cells, including kidney and airway epithelial cells. Epithelial cells form a lining at the surface of the skin and along membranes within the body. This lining is essential for cell defense, nutrient absorption and ion transport. Her research group investigates how the topmost (or apical) membrane receptors regulate the activity of ion channels, including the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel.
Focused initially on the airway epithelium, Dr. Milgram's research program has now expanded to study other epithelial cells and model systems, including the kidney and gastrointestinal tract. Her laboratory's findings suggest that receptors, signaling intermediates and effectors are compartmentalized into regulatory complexes that increase the fidelity and efficiency of cell signaling. These studies utilize diverse approaches, ranging from in vitro biochemical assays to physiological assays in knock-out mice.
Last Reviewed: October 5, 2015