Comprehensive Dentistry & Biomaterials

Department of Oral and Craniofacial Biology
Becky Worthylake, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Office: Jeansonne Clinic Building
Room #8405B
Email: bworth@lsuhsc.edu
Phone: 504-941-8039  Fax: 504-941-8319

University of Utah, Ph.D. 1998

After working as a Research Associate at Oregon State University, Dr. Worthylake joined the doctoral program at the University of Utah studying Cell Biology. She followed this with postdoctoral training with Dr. Keith Burridge in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Then Dr Worthylake joined LSUHSC in 2005 as Assistant Professor.

The goal of the laboratory is to understand how cells migrate throughout the body.  This is a normal function of leukocytes as they travel between the blood stream and various tissues to fight infection and injury.  Pathological inflammation and cancer metastasis are two cases where cell migration is a key component of disease.  The focus is on Rho GTPase signaling and cell biology during migration.

Research Interests
Leukocytes, flowing though the bloodstream, respond to infection by migrating across the blood vessel wall and into the infected tissue. Leukocyte recruitment is an important component of the body’s immune defense system; however, when misregulated, inappropriate inflammatory responses actually cause a large variety of pathologies. In addition, metatstatic tumor cells that break away from the primary tumor and colonize growth at distant sites often “hijack” the leukocyte cell migration and recruitment mechanisms.

Research Interests--Keywords
Cell Signaling, Cell Biology, Cell Migration

Teaching Activities
Cell Signaling
Cell Biology
Cell Migration

Selected Publications
Struckhoff AP, Vitko JR, Rana MK , Davis CT, Foderingham KE, Liu CH, Vanhoy-Rhodes L, Elliot S, Zhu Y, Burow M, Worthylake RA.   Dynamic Regulation of ROCK Controls CSCR4-Driven Tumor Cell Adhesion Events.  J. Cell Sci 2010 (in press)

Breslin, JW, Maietta, D., Kurtz, K. Doggett, T., Souza, F., Worthylake, RA Cortical actin dynamics and endothelial barrier function. Microcirculation 16: 761-762. 2009.

Tumusiime S, Rana MK, Kher S, Worthylake RA; Regulation of ROCKII by Localization to Membrane Compartments and binding to Dynamin I.  Biochem Biophys Res Comm 381:393-396; 2009

Wittchen ES, Worthylake RA, Kelly P, Casey PJ, Quilliam LA and Burridge K, Rap1 GTPase inhibits leukocyte transmigration by promoting endothelial barrier function. J. Biol. Chem. 280:11675-82; 2005

Worthylake RA and Burridge K, RhoA and ROCK Limit Membrane Protrusions during Directed Migration, J. Biol. Chem 278:13578-13584, 2003

Worthylake RA, Lemoine S, Watson JM and Burridge K, RhoA is required for monocyte tail retraction during transendothelial migration, J. Cell Biol 154:147-160, 2001.







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