Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Kathleen J. Green Lab

Our Lab

Welcome to the Green Lab website!

Our vision is to define how cell communication and cooperation drive tissue form and function.  Just as communication between people is essential for our society to thrive, so too is communication between cells in a multicellular organism essential for its existence.  Our group shares a passion for understanding  how cells physically stick together to provide mechanical strength to tissues and how adhesion molecules convert mechanical and other environmental cues into signals that drive individual and collective cell behaviors in development, differentiation and disease.   We are also passionate about converting our curiosity-driven research into practical knowledge that can help us diagnose and treat adhesion-related diseases, including inherited, autoimmune and bacterial-toxin mediated skin disease, heart disease and cancer.  The Green laboratory is dedicated to an open, collaborative, and inclusive research environment promoting high impact research.  The lab mentors a diverse team of individuals from different disciplines, backgrounds, perspectives and expertise for a future as independent scientists, educators and professionals in allied fields. Enjoy our website, and please contact any one of us if you need further information.


What we do: In the Green lab we study sub-cellular to supra-cellular biology, from molecule to man. We are elucidating the machinery that mechanically and chemically couples cells in tissues, and determining how interference with this machinery can lead to human disease. Alteration in cell-cell coupling not only changes tissue architecture, but also alters paracrine communication between different cell types, including cells of the immune system. This figure illustrates different approaches used in the lab, starting at the left and moving clockwise with: a) studies of human desmosome-related disease, b) transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to identify new interaction partners and functional changes in mRNA/protein expression, c) regeneration of human epidermis in vitro from isolated cells, d) live and fixed imaging of cells and tissues, e) biophysical approaches to study mechanical signaling, f) generation of animal models of human genetic disease and cancer including melanoma, g) biochemical and structural biology approaches. Through these approaches, we learn how human mutations alter protein dynamics and function within cells, and how mutations change cell communication within tissues to alter tissue function and immune responses. (images from: Norgett, et al. 2000. Hum. Mol. Gen.; Samuelov, et al. 2013. Nat. Genet.; Choi, et al. 2002. Nat. Struct. Biol.; O’Keefe, et al. 1989. J. Biol. Chem.)






Kathleen J Green, PhD

Kathleen J Green, PhD
Joseph L. Mayberry, Sr. Professor of Pathology
Professor of Dermatology
Associate Director of Basic Sciences, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Green’s Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Green’s Biosketch

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