Faculty Profiles

Robert E. Hausman

Robert E. Hausman

Professor of Biology

PhD, Northwestern University, 1971
Areas of interest: cell-cell interactions, cell adhesion complexes, contact-mediated regulation of gene expression
hausman@bu.edu
(617) 353-2470

Current Research

My scholarly interests are the proteins which make up the adhesion-signaling complexes on the surface of cells in a developing multicellular organism, specifically the neurons and glial cells of the developing chick nervous system. The effective function of cell adhesion complexes is critical to establishment and maintenance of the differentiated state. Earlier research probed the role of the cell membrane and membrane lipid – protein complexes in fusion of embryonic chick myoblasts into multi-nuclear muscle cells. More recent research investigated the possible roles of integrins, cadherins and lipid raft components in one cell-cell adhesion complex in the developing retina of chick embryos. We had shown that interference with this cell adhesion blocks further neuronal cell differentiation and initiates apoptosis. Using the activity of a tissue-specific cell surface protein disulfide isomerase as a probe, we demonstrated that cell adhesion by this complex involves rearrangement of disulfide bonds. Using a combination of cell adhesion assays, isolation of interacting proteins and mass spectroscopy, we started to identify the different molecules which make up this adhesion complex, the substrates and binding targets for the isomerase and the actual cell-linking proteins. Subsequent work might differentiate this isomerase-dependent adhesion complex from, at least, two other adhesion complexes on the surface of retina cells and allow tracing of the signal the signal transduction pathways back to the blocks to neuronal cell differentiation and the initiation of apoptosis. I am no longer pursuing active research nor accepting new graduate students.

I am focusing on graduate and undergraduate teaching, writing review articles and cell biology textbook revision.

Courses Taught

  • BI203 Cell Biology
  • BI 213 Honors Cell Biology
  • BI 708 Biochemical and Molecular Aspects of Development

Selected Publications

  • Hausman RE (2006). Ocular extracellular matrices in development. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 26, 162-188.
  • Mukherjee RS, Hausman RE (2004). Cloning of chicken choline acetyltransferase and its expression in the developing chick retina. Mol. Brain Res. 129, 54-66.
  • Pariser HP, Zhang J, Hausman RE (2000). The cell adhesion molecule, retina cognin, is a cell surface protein disulfide isomerase that uses disulfide exchange activity to modulate cell adhesion. Exptl. Cell Res. 258, 42-52.
  • Pariser HP, Rakeman A, Hausman RE (1998). Thioreductase activity of retina cognin and its role in cell adhesion. Develop. Brain Res. 111, 1-9.
  • Holdengreber V, Ren Y, Ben-Shaul Y, Hausman RE (1998). Co-localization of the insulin receptor, jun protein and choline acetyltransferase in embryonic chick retina. Exptl. Eye Res. 66, 307-314.
  • Hausman RE, Ren Y, Ruiz JF, Shah BH. (1998). Insulin-mediated stimulation of ChAT and c-Jun in the developing retina neurons involves PI 3-kinase. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 26, S312.
  • Phillips JL, Tolan DR, Hausman RE (1997). Antisense inhibition of retina cognin expression modulates differentiation of retinal neurons in culture. Mol. Vision 3, 12 
  • Phillips JL, Holdengreber V, Ben-Shaul Y, Zhang J, Tolan DR, Hausman RE (1997). Developmental localization of retina cognin synthesis by in situ hybridization. Develop. Brain Res. 104, 143-152.