The Cash Lab

Our Questions

How is cell motility regulated at the molecular level?

How is specificity achieved in cell signaling?

How can each member of a large family of multi-domain signaling proteins achieve highly specific signaling outputs?

How are Dbl RhoGEFs similarly and differentially regulated?

What are the molecular mechanisms behind the involvment of RhoGEFs in cancers?

Our Science

We study how Dbl RhoGEFs signal to affect cellular structure and function.  We want to understand how these proteins are regulated through self-inhibition and by other proteins, lipids, and post-translational modifications.  We investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in this signaling and regulation from the cell membrane to the downstream GTPases that are activated by the RhoGEFs.

Potential mechanism of P-Rex activation

Potential mechanism of P-Rex activation

Our Methods

We take a biochemical and structural approach to addressing our questions.  We express and purify our proteins of interest for use in biochemical assays to assess regulation of their activity and in structural biology experiments to determine how their structure dictates their function.  Currently, we utilize mammalian and bacterial expression systems, and our primary structural biology method is cryo-electron microscopy.

Our Philosophy

We encourage individuals to bring their authentic selves to the lab.  This promotes the well-being of the lab community by fostering a sense of understanding of one another and by helping us to identify how best to interact.  We highly encourage rigorous communication and honesty within the lab.  Our lab is a safe learning space, and we promote active learning and asking questions at all levels.  We are passionate about making science more accessible to all audiences, especially as a lab consisting of first-generation scientists.  Training is an important aspect of our lab, whether that means receiving training or mentoring another lab member.  We teach lab members effective time management and scheduling skills, promoting a healthy work-life balance.  We believe in being the change we want to see happen.  We foster a collaborative environment.  Your success feeds into your fellow lab members’ success and vice versa.  Science should not be a competition – there is too much interesting science to work on!  We support providing opportunities to individuals from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds and those who have not yet been given their chance to shine.  Collectively through these means, we embrace diversity. Our appreciation of diversity continuously evolves over time as we meet more people who bring unique perspectives and skills to solving the problems we tackle daily.  We look forward to enhancing the diversity of our lab by continuing to provide an environment that attracts, supports, and sustains diverse groups of people.


We are recruiting at all levels!  If you are an undergraduate interested in working with us, please fill out this form.  Otherwise, please contact Dr. Cash directly.