Mammalian iron homeostasis and human iron diseases
Iron is important in many biological reactions, but excess iron causes cellular damage. The Andrews Lab is interested in disorders of mammalian iron homeostasis, including iron deficiency, anemia of chronic disease and hereditary hemochromatosis. We use a genetic approach to learn about the physiology of iron homeostasis. We take advantage of strong similarities in human and mouse iron biology, and use mouse genetics as a tool to characterize the roles of individual proteins in networks regulating iron transport and iron balance. Many of the mouse mutants that we have developed provide faithful models of human iron disorders.