Craig Crews is designated the Lewis B. Cullman Professor

Craig M. Crews, the newly appointed Lewis B. Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, explores different aspects of developmental and cell biology using a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology and bio-organic chemistry.

Crews’ laboratory investigates chemical approaches to the study of biological questions and is specifically interested in the modes of action of biologically active nature products in order to investigate intracellular signaling pathways and to identify novel targets for drug design. He has shown, for example, how triptolide, a biologically active compound found in a Chinese herbal therapy has anti-tumor, anti-fertility and immunosuppressive effects, and that it prevents cyst formation in a mouse model of polycystic kidney disease. His research on a chemical from a microorganism - a proteosome inhibitor - demonstrated that it could kill tumor cells. He started a company called Proteolix, which is now conducting clinical studies toward FDA approval.

Crews and his laboratory colleagues are also studying the molecular mechanisms by which limb regeneration occurs in the Mexican salamander. They have demonstrated that unknown determinants in the epidermis direct the formation of a unique organizing structure that drives cell dedifferentiation and ultimately limb regeneration.

Crews joined the Yale faculty in 1995 and is affiliated with the Departments of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; Chemistry; and Pharmacology. He received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2006 and a Grand Challenges Exploration grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009.

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