Rob Tilghman

University of Virginia
Department of Microbiology
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
Room 2-25 Jordan Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: 434-924-5341 (lab)
FAX: 434-982-0689



Cell migration is a key event in many physiological processes, such as tumor metastasis, inflammation, and embryonic development. I am studying the mechanisms of adhesion during cell migration. As a cell moves along the extracellular matrix, it is required to constantly form new adhesions at its leading edge while releasing adhesions in the rear of the cell. This phenomenon, called focal adhesion turnover, forms the basis for cell motility. We wish to examine how cells regulate adhesion formation and release (and therefore migration) by studying signaling events that occur in focal adhesions, such as activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and src family kinases. By correlating these events with the development of adhesive structures we hope to gain novel insights into the nature of focal adhesions and cellular migration.


1. Tilghman, RW, and Hoover, RL. The src-cortactin pathway is required for clustering of E-selectin and ICAM-1 in endothelial cells. FASEB J. 2002 Aug;16(10):1257-9.

2. Tilghman, RW, and Hoover, RL. ICAM-1 and E-selectin partition into detergent-resistant cholesterol-rich membrane domains upon leukocyte adhesion. FEBS Lett. 2002 Aug 14;525(1-3):83-87.

3. Tilghman, R.W., Slack-Davis, J.K., Sergina, N., Martin, K.H., Iwanicki, M., Hershey, E.D., Beggs, H.E., Reichardt, L.F., and Parsons, J.T. (2005) Focal adhesion kinase is required for the spatial organization of the leading edge in migrating cells. J. Cell. Sci. 118: 2613-23.



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