Research in the Duan lab is directed towards understanding how peptide growth factors act to control vertebrate development, growth, and aging. Our current research focuses on the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling system, including the IGF ligands, IGF binding proteins, IGF receptors, and the downstream signal transduction mechanisms. The Duan lab uses mammals, zebrafish and other fish as experimental models. A combination of molecular, cell biological, biochemical, genetic, and genomic approaches are used to address physiological and developmental questions. Specific areas of current research activity include: (1) roles of growth factors in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, migration and apoptosis during early development; (2) signal transduction mechanisms of growth factor actions; (3) transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression; and (4) roles of growth factors and hormones in regulating development, growth, and aging in response to hypoxia and nutrient restriction.