Welcome to the Lim Lab!

Welcome to the Lim lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham! We study the role of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in vascular disease and cancer. FAK is a tyrosine kinase that interacts with multiple cell signaling pathways and serves as a nexus for these extracellular signals and mediates cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and survival.

Lab Overview

Our research is centered on elucidating the underlying mechanisms of how an altered extracellular environment influences intracellular signaling, resulting in the transformation from normal to diseased states. Our current projects in the lab are:

  • The role of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activity in atherosclerosis
  • Targeting FAK signaling in triple negative breast cancer and glioblastoma

Proposed studies involve cell culture, genetic and preclinical mouse models, and examination of patient derived specimens. Cellular imaging, biochemical and molecular biology techniques, and animal handling are all available to be used for research.

Interested graduate students and post-docs will be able to contribute to major projects in the laboratory with potential opportunities for publication and research presentation.

Major techniques and skills that we use in this lab:

  • Genetically engineered mouse models of vascular disease (mouse models of gene knockout and overexpression)
  • Animal surgery
  • Analysis of VSMC dedifferentiation
  • Molecular biology / Cell biology / Biochemistry tools (qRT-PCR, RT-PCR, RACE to identify novel transcripts, Western blot, Immunoprecipitation, Immunostaining)
  • Lentivirus-mediated gene transduction
  • Flow cytometry
  • Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)
  • Genomic techniques:
    • RNA-sequencing
    • single-cell RNA-sequencing
    • ChIP-sequencing
    • Sequencing data analysis (transcriptome, alternative splicing, GSEA)