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CELL BIOLOGY
 
 

• Victoria Auerbuch Stone (METX) Interplay between bacterial pathogens and the mammalian innate immune system
• Needhi Bhalla (MCD) Chromosome Structure and Function during Meiosis
• Barry Bowman (MCD) Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Membrane Proteins
• Susan Carpenter (MCD) Long Noncoding RNA and Innate Immunity
• Camilla Forsberg (BME) How Stem Cell Fate Is Decided
• Lindsay Hinck (MCD) Cellular Interactions During Organogenesis and Tumorigenesis
• Rohinton Kamakaka (MCD) Chromosome Structure and Gene Regulation
• Doug Kellogg (MCD) Control of Cell Growth and Size
• Joel Kubby (EE) Applications of Adaptive Optics for Biological Microscopy
• Karen Ottemann (METX) How Bacterial Pathogens Sense and Respond to Host Environments
• Carrie Partch (Chem) Exploring the Molecular Basis for Circadian Timekeeping in Mammals
• Bill Saxton (MCD) Organelle Transport and Neurodegeneration
• Susan Strome (MCD) Regulation of Germ Cell Development in C. elegans
• Bill Sullivan (MCD) The Cell Cycle, Cytoskeleton and Pathogenesis
• Fitnat Yildiz (METX) Ex-vivo Survival Mechanisms Used by Vibrio cholerae between Epidemics
• Martha Zuñiga (MCD) Cellular and Molecular Regulation of Antigen Presentation in Health and Disease
• Yi Zuo(MCD) Synapse plasticity and learning/Memory

Prof Victoria Auerbuch StoneInterplay between bacterial pathogens and the mammalian innate immune system

Victoria Auerbuch Stone , Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

Professor Auerbuch Stone’s research interests focus on how mammalian cells recognize and respond to bacterial pathogens and how, in turn, bacterial pathogens manipulate the mammalian innate immune system. We use human pathogenic Yersinia to study the type III secretion system (T3SS), a needle-like apparatus used by dozens of pathogens, including the gut microbe Y. pseudotuberculosis and the plague agent Y. pestis, to inject effector proteins inside mammalian target cells. The T3SS is an evolutionarily ancient structure that is recognized by several mammalian innate immune receptors, leading to a host response presumably aimed at eliminating the invading pathogen. Current research in Professor Auerbuch Stone’s lab focuses on gaining a better understanding of how Yersinia regulate their T3SS, on probing the mammalian innate immune response to the Yersinia T3SS, and on discovery and characterization of small molecule inhibitors of the T3SS. [More]
Auerbuch Stone Publications Auerbuch Stone's Email

Prof. Needhi BhallaChromosome Structure and Function during Meiosis

Needhi Bhalla, Department of MCD Biology

The Bhalla lab isinterested in the mechanisms that ensure that chromosomes segregate correctly during cell division, particularly in meiosis. During this specialized cell division, diploid cells give rise to haploid gametes, such as sperm and eggs, so that diploidy is restored by fertilization. Defects in meiosis can generate gametes, and therefore embryos, with the incorrect number of chromsomes. These aberrations in chromosome number, also referred to as aneuploidy, typically produce inviable embryos. It is estimated that 30% of human miscarriages are due to aneuploidy. In some cases, the presence of an extra copy of a chromosome can be tolerated by a human embryo but results in serious developmental disorders, such as Down and Klinefelters syndrome. [More]

Bhalla Publications
Needhi Bhalla's Email

Prof Barry BowmanBiochemistry and Cell Biology of Membrane Proteins

Barry Bowman, Dept. of MCD Biology

One third of the genes in all organisms encode membrane proteins, most of which transport molecules from one compartment to another. We use Neurospora crassa as our model organism.  The complete genome has been sequenced for this filamentous fungus. It has 10,000 genes, twice the number in yeast, and a complete collection of knockout mutants is being generated. [More]
Bowman Publications
Barry Bowman's E-Mail

Prof Susan CarpenterUse of Random Mutagenesis for Studies of Evolution and for Therapy

Susan Carpenter, Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology

One of the most fascinating findings following the sequencing of the human genome is that less than 3% of the genome codes for protein coding exons while over 85% of the genome is actively transcribed. Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) represent the largest class of RNA transcripts produced from the genome and to date there are 16,000 lncRNAs catalogued in Gencode. In recent years lncRNA have emerged as major regulators of chromatin remodeling, transcription and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in diverse biological contexts. Our goal is to understand the functions for lncRNA in inflammatory signaling pathways in macrophages and dendritic cells. [More]

Carpenter's Publications Sue Carpenter's Email

Prof Camilla ForsgergHow Stem Cell Fate Is Decided

Camilla Forsberg, Dept. of Biomolecular Engineering

Camila Forsberg's research group focuses on stem cell fate decisions that give rise to variant blood cell types. Are such decisions made by the stem cell itself, by its descendant multipotent progenitors, or both? To answer such questions, Forsberg's group conducts molecular lineage tracing of HSC differentiation in vivo. In order to elucidate the mechanisms of fate decisions, they employ global analyses, such as genome-wide gene expression analysis and chromatin remodeling assays. The ultimate goal of this research is to facilitate our ability to direct specific fates and improve clinical applications of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic stem cell therapy. [More]

Forsberg Publications Camilla Forsberg's Email

Prof Lindsay HinckCellular Interactions During Organogenesis and Tumorigenesis

Lindsay Hinck , Dept. MCD Biology

Lindsay Hinck is interested in how epithelial cells assemble into organs during development, and how the reverse process occurs during cancer when cells disassemble and metastasize to inappropriate locations. The lab studies two families of positional cues, called Slits and Netrins, which were originally identified in the nervous system, where they direct the construction of elaborate networks of neuronal connections. They focus on how these cues control the development of the mammary gland, and how loss of these cues during tumor progression contributes to breast cancer. Currently, the laboratory has projects in three areas. [More]

Hinck Publications Lindsay Hinck's Email

Prof Roh KamakakaChromosome Structure and Gene Regulation

Rohinton Kamakaka, Dept. of MCD Biology

The primary DNA sequence of an organism determines their unique genetic makeup. DNA in the eukaryotic nucleus associates with several structural and enzymatic proteins to form chromatin. This packaging affects the ability of genes to be transcribed into RNA and only a subset of genes undergo active transcription in any given cell at any particular time. Specific gene transcription is achieved by enhancer bound transcription factors that recruit specific chromatin remodeling and modifying enzymes to form open euchromatin. Conversely, silencer bound factors recruit distinct enzyme machineries and repressor proteins to modify chromatin resulting in the formation of condensed heterochromatin that silences genes ... [More]

Kamakaka's Publications Roh Kamakaka's Email

Prof KelloggControl of Cell Growth and Size

Doug Kellogg, Dept. of MCD Biology

Cells show extraordinary diversity in size and shape.  The mechanisms by which cells control their growth and size are poorly understood and represent a fundamental unsolved problem in cell biology.  The goal of the Kellogg laboratory's work is to elucidate these mechanisms. Their approach is to use biochemistry, genetics, and mathematical modeling to understand signaling networks that are required for control of cell size and cell growth. [More]
Kellogg's Publications Doug Kellogg's E-Mail

Prof Joel KubbyApplications of Adaptive Optics for Biological Microscopy

Joel Kubby, Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Professor Joel Kubby is collaborating with engineers, physicists and biologists to utilize Adaptive Optics for the improvement of deep tissue imaging of living cells. Current biological microscopy is incapable of obtaining high quality live imaging in samples greater than 30 microns beneath the plasma membrane, where many critical cellular processes occur. Much of the degradation in image quality is the result of local differences in the refractive index, both within the sample and between the sample and the immersion lens. Adaptive optics was first used to correct for image aberrations in astronomical imaging. Kubby and his collaborators have shown that the same principles that improved resolution in telescopes can be adapted to improve wide-field, confocal, two-photon, super-resolution and spinning disk microscopy systems that are crucial for biological research. [More]
Kubby Publications Joel Kubby's Email

Prof Karen OttemannHow Bacterial Pathogens Sense and Respond to Host Environments

Karen Ottemann, Dept. of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

Professor Karen Ottemann's laboratory investigates how bacteria translate chemical and physical cues in their host environment into pathogenic outcomes. Mistakes in sensation and subsequent gene expression by bacteria may result in their elimination by the host immune response or peristaltic flow. Elucidation of such processes will hopefully lead to identification of anti-bacterial drug targets. Ottemann is particularly interested in the role of outer membrane proteins and chemotaxis associated with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. This pathogen infects some 3 billion humans and can lead to serious disease, including ulcers and cancer. [More]

Ottemann Publications Karen Ottemann's Email

Prof Rubin Exploring the Molecular Basis for Circadian Timekeeping in Mammals

Carrie Partch , Chemistry and Biochemistry

Mammalian physiology is synchronized into 24-hour rhythms that coincide with the solar day by an intrinsic molecular clock. As a global regulator of homeostasis, disruption of the circadian clock has profound consequences on human health, leading to depression, metabolic syndromes, cancer, and premature aging. The Partch lab studies how the 24-hour periodicity of this molecular clock is generated and how it integrates with the cell cycle to limit proliferation using cell biology, biochemistry and biophysical techniques. They are also interested in chemical biology approaches to modulate clock timing with structurally informed in vitro and cell-based screening platforms. [More]

Partch Publications Carrie Partch's E-Mail


Prof SaxtonOrganelle Transport and Neurodegeneration

Bill Saxton, Dept. MCD Biology

The Saxton lab studies mechanisms that drive intracellular transport and cytoplasmic organization, using Drosophila as a model organism. To generate and maintain proper cytoplasmic order and thus their complex functions, cells use microtubules and force-generating motor proteins to transport RNAs, proteins, mitochondria and other organelles to appropriate locations. Neurons are especially dependent on such microtubule-based cytoplasmic transport, because their signaling functions rely on extraordinarily long cytoplasmic extensions (axons and dendrites) that require import of many components from their cell bodies ..... [More]


Prof Susan StromeRegulation of Germ Cell Development in C. elegans

Professor Susan Strome, MCD Biology

Germ cells (the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm) have special properties. Their immortality allows them to be perpetuated from generation to generation, and their totipotency allows them to generate all of the diverse cell types of the body in each generation. Our lab investigates the molecular mechanisms used by germ cells to establish and maintain their identity, immortality, and totipotency. We study germ cells in the model organism C. elegans using a wide variety of approaches, including genetics, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, and whole-genome microarray and sequencing technologies. Our current focus areas are transmission of chromatin states and control of gene expression in germ cells, and regulation of RNA metabolism by germline-specific cytoplasmic "P granules". [More]

Strome Publications Susan Strome's E-Mail

Prof Bill SullivanCell Cycle, Cytoskeleton and Pathogenesis

Bill Sullivan, Dept. of MCD Biology

The Sullivan lab uses the Drosophila embryo as a model system to investigate the mechanisms that drive furrow invagination during cytokinesis. Through a combination of cellular and molecular genetic approaches, the Sullivan group has showed that furrow formation requires coordinated cell cycle regulated and endocytic-based vesicle recruitment. These studies have also identified a new role for cell cycle checkpoints in coordinating the nuclear cycle with cytokinesis. More recently, the lab has applied these approaches toward understanding the mechanisms by which the widespread intracellular insect pathogen, Wolbachia, influences host nuclear and cytoplasmic cell cycles. [More]

Sullivan's Publications Bill Sullivan's E-Mail

Prof Fitnat YildizEx-vivo Survival Mechanisms Used by Vibrio cholerae between Epidemics

Fitnat Yildiz, Dept. of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

Ex-vivo Survival Mechanisms used by Vibrio cholerae between Epidemics: Fitnat Yildiz's laboratory investigates signaling and regulatory networks of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the Asiatic cholera. She and her colleagues are particularly interested in those mechanisms that allow the pathogen to adapt to changes in its habitat. The bacteria's ability to survive in different growth modes in aquatic environments is closely linked to seasonal epidemics of cholera. Yildiz's laboratory is attempting to identify and characterize genes and processes associated with phase variations of the pathogen. Their results will be useful for prediction and control of epidemics of this devastating disease. [More]

Yildiz Publications Fitnat Yildiz's E-Mail

Prof Martha ZunigaCellular and Molecular Regulation of Antigen Presentation in Health and Disease

Martha Zuñiga, Department of MCD Biology

The Zúñiga lab is interested in the regulation of immune responses in health and disease.  Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules (called HLA molecules in humans) present self, tumor, and pathogen-derived antigens to the T cells.  The presentation of MHC molecules in different cellular contexts is of paramount importance in determining immune responsiveness versus tolerance. One major project in the lab focuses on mechanisms of immunological tolerance to cutaneous antigens. We have found that skin-derived regulatory T cells can induce ..... [More]

Martha Zuñiga's Publications Martha Zuñiga's Email

Prof Yi ZuoSynapse Plasticity and Learning/Memory

Yi Zuo, Dept. of MCD Biology

The human brain is an extremely complicated organ, in which billions of neurons make trillions of connections. Synapses are the principal sites at which neurons communicate with one another. Experience-dependent modification of synaptic structure and function provides a cellular mechanism for learning and memory, while abnormal synaptic connections are hallmarks of many neurological and psychiatric disorders. My laboratory studies how the neuronal circuitry is rewired during learning and memory formation, and investigates the cellular mechanisms underlying structural changes of synapses under both physiological and pathological conditions. ( [More]
Zuo Publications Yi Zuo's E-Mail
 

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