Holaska Lab

Rowan Research

  • Holaska Lab

Holaska Lab

Welcome to the Holaska Lab


The metazoan genome is surrounded by the nuclear envelope, a complex membrane structure containing more than 100 proteins that function in many fundamental cellular processes. My research program studies the molecular mechanisms underlying how the nuclear envelope regulates some of these fundamental cellular processes, including genomic architecture, RNA transcription and cell signaling. My lab focuses on emerin, an inner nuclear membrane protein, for our studies. There are two broad areas of research in my lab. The first area aims to determine how nuclear envelope proteins regulate the dynamic reorganization of the genome during stem cell differentiation to control the coordinated temporal expression of the differentiation program. Loss of emerin causes muscular dystrophy by impeding muscle stem cell differentiation. We anticipate that new therapeutic targets will be identified for treating muscle disease by studying the mechanism underlying emerin regulation of muscle regeneration. The second area of research aims to determine how nuclear envelope proteins regulate nuclear size and structure during cancer transformation to drive cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Nuclear size and structure are decreased in metastatic cells allowing them to enter and exit the vasculature. The size and structure of the nucleus in normal cells does not allow for their entry into the vasculature due to its large size and rigid structure. Thus, if nuclear structural changes seen during metastatic transformation could be reversed, metastasis could be blocked.