Welcome to the Luke / Pak / Silverman lab

We are a multi-PI lab with a primary interest in understanding the role of serpins (serine proteinase inhibitors) in normal physiology and disease. Serpins play important roles in maintaining cellular homeostasis by regulating the activity of their target proteases. As such, an imbalance in the protease-serpin equilibrium can lead to cellular dysfunction, tissue damage and death.

Our laboratory focuses on:

  • the interplay between cell stress (e.g., infection, hypoxia, hyperoxia, electrolyte disturbances, autophagy dysfunction), protease activity, and the serpin blockade
  • understanding the pathogenesis of serpinopathies (e.g., alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency) and developing therapeutic strategies

Our laboratory is also a member of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network whose aim is to provide diagnosis for individuals with rare undiagnosed genetic disorders. We model human variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in C. elegans and provide functional data to determine whether a VUS is damaging to gene function.

Decorative genetics sequencing

Learn more about our research…