Andrew ("Drew") C. Webb

DEPT: 	    Biological Sciences   
OFFICE:	    262, Science Center 	
TEL: 	    (781) 283-3115	 
LAB:	    E304, Science Center 
TEL:        283-3067	
DEGREES:    B.Sc., Ph.D., University of Southampton, England
INTERESTS:  Molecular Genetics, Biotechnology, Cancer biology

Teaching Interests and Activities:

At present I teach introductory cell biology, intermediate level molecular genetics and an advanced course in molecular biology. In teaching this program, I emphasise the experimental approaches that have revealed the central role gene activity plays in the life of both normal and abnormal cells. During the accompanying labs, students gain practical experience with the techniques of cell and molecular biology which have revolutionized the study of many fields within biology, as well as providing novel approaches to the treatment and diagnosis of disease.


Research Interests and Activities:

The focus of my research is directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms that turn genes on and off. Most of our work examines genes active in human white blood cells which are important to immune system function. The products of these genes are called cytokines and constitute a molecular signalling system between cells. Another area of research interest in my lab is the genetic study of cancer cell invasion or metastasis.

Student Projects:

Current student research is centered on the molecular cloning of a novel B lymphocyte cytokine called IL-X that appears to be autostimulatory in cells transformed with Epstein-Barr virus. Past student work has also contributed to the molecular biology of interleukin-1b, cathepsin S, urokinase inhibitor, humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy factor. Another recent student project involved establishing an in vitro assay for studying the role of urokinase in prostate cancer cell invasion.

Other Professional Interests and Activities:

My research into clinically significant human genes with therapeutic potential has provided a unique opportunity to experience the exciting interface of academic research with corporate biotechnology. Wellesley is a co-owner with MIT and New England Medical Center of a series of biotechnology patents derived from research performed in my laboratory. Education of the public on the societal impact of biotechnology has also become a major interest of mine in recent years.


Additional Interests and Activities:

My leisure time is devoted primarily to family and home. However, I enjoy windsurfing, sailing, squash, driving, dancing and coaching youth soccer.