The Sabatini lab has broad interests in the regulation of growth and metabolism in mammals.
Our work has focused in part on a cellular network called the mTOR pathway, a critical regulator of growth in many species. We have identified many of the protein components of the mTOR pathway and are beginning to understand their functions at the cell and organismal level and in diseases such as cancer and diabetes as well as in aging. We also have an increasing interest in cancer metabolism and have been exploiting loss of function RNAi screening to identify metabolic genes important for tumorigenesis.
To study the mTOR pathway and other signaling networks, the lab has also developed a new type of microarray that allows scientists to look at thousands of genes at once and identify their roles inside the cell. These 'cell microarrays' contain 4,000-10,000 microscopic spots, each composed of a group of live cells over- or under-expressing a specific protein, allowing for ultra-high throughput loss or gain of function screening. As part of this effort we also developed image analysis software for use in cell-based assays and are founding members of The RNAi Consortium (TRC) that is generating and exploiting genome scale RNAi libraries.