Cell Biology

Deborah Andrew

Deborah Andrew

Tube formation is a ubiquitous process required to sustain life in all multicellular organisms. Tubular organs in humans include the lungs, vasculature, digestive and excretory systems, as well as secretory organs such as the pancreas, salivary, prostrate, and mammary glands. My lab studies the Drosophila trachea and salivary gland as model systems for tube formation to learn how organ size, shape and function are normally controlled.

BCMB students currently in the lab:

Susan Michaelis

Susan Michaelis

We study fundamental cellular processes relevant to human disease.

Erika Matunis

Erika Matunis

What are cellular and molecular mechanisms that control tissue regeneration in vivo?  Stem cells ensure tissue renewal in most adult tissues, and their activities are under the precise control of signals from specific local microenvironments, or niches. The ability to manipulate stem identity and behavior is a long-standing goal of regenerative medicine.  Understanding how endogenous niches work is essential for fulfilling this goal, but most niches are poorly defined.

BCMB students currently in the lab:

Katherine Wilson

Katherine Wilson

Within each human cell is a NUCLEUS, 'mothership' of the human genome and still the least-understood cellular structure. Chromosomes are enclosed by the nuclear envelope (NE) and communicate with the cytoplasm through Nuclear Pore Complexes (NPCs). The inner and outer membranes of the NE are mechanically connected by SUN-domain proteins and nesprins, which form LINC (links the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complexes. LINC complexes are anchored to nuclear intermediate filament (nuclear ‘lamina’) networks.

Shigeki Watanabe

Shigeki Watanabe

 For information processing and integration, neurons undergo rapid cellular and molecular reorganization. At the level of a synapse, the entire structure of the postsynaptic compartment, dendritic spines, can alter rapidly to mediate synaptic plasticity. At the molecular level, the addition of receptors to the surface of spines is associated with strengthening of synapses while their removal is associated with weakening and neurodegeneration. Many of these changes take place on a millisecond time scale.

BCMB students currently in the lab:

Hiromi Sesaki

Hiromi Sesaki

Our laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms and physiological roles of mitochondrial fusion. Mitochondria are highly dynamic and control their morphology by a balance of fusion and fission. The regulation of membrane fusion and fission generates a striking diversity of mitochondrial shapes, ranging from numerous small spheres in hepatocytes to long branched tubules in myotubes. In addition to shape and number, mitochondrial fusion is critical for normal organelle function.

Douglas Robinson

Douglas Robinson

Multi-cellular living organisms grow from single cells into multicellular, complex systems composed of highly diverse cell-types organized into tissues, which in turn form organs and organ systems.  To organize and maintain this complex architecture, the organism must undergo constant renewal through cell proliferation and elimination of unwanted cells.

Rong Li

Rong Li

?The goal of our research is to understand how eukaryotic cells polarize, divide, move, and vary their genomes to adapt to the changing environment.  We strive for integrated analyses on the systems level that combines whole-cell quantitative observation and mathematical modeling with cutting-edge molecular genetics approaches.

Carolyn Machamer

Carolyn Machamer

We are interested in the structure and function of the Golgi complex, a ubiquitous eukaryotic organelle that plays a central role in post-translational processing and sorting of newly synthesized proteins and lipids in the secretory pathway. The Golgi complex has an unusual structure, particularly in vertebrates, where stacks of cisternal membranes are clustered into a ribbon structure near the nucleus. One goal of our research is to understand the role of this structure in Golgi function. Towards this goal, we are studying the targeting and function of resident Golgi proteins.

BCMB students currently in the lab:

Takanari Inoue

Takanari Inoue

Research Focus  Our research focuses on “synthetic cell biology” to dissect and reconstitute intricate signaling networks. In particular, we investigate positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as a symmetry breaking process), as well as spatio-temporally dynamic information processing at various compartments in living cells. In parallel, our lab also tries to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical functions.

BCMB students currently in the lab:

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