The Sabatini Lab studied the mechanisms that control cell growth and metabolism with a focus on the signaling system known as the mTOR pathway.
While at Whitehead Institute, Sabatini and his lab studied — at the biochemical, cellular and organismal level — a signaling network called the mTOR pathway. This pathway is emerging as a critical integrator of growth signals in mammals and is under the control of nutrients, stress, and growth factors like insulin. The lab was interested in understanding how the mTOR pathway senses and integrates upstream signals and coordinates cell growth with the cell cycle. They also studied the function of novel components of the pathway in mice. Sabatini’s efforts to understand the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) at the cellular level have provided a new way to investigate the role nutrients and metabolism play in disease. The lab also studied metabolic pathways in general, with a particular interest in metabolic processes that control cell proliferation, as well as the metabolism of organelles such as mitochondria and lysosomes.