Research at a glance
Area(s) of Expertise
Our lab is focused on understanding the fundamental interactions that drive biology. For us, this typical involves looking at multiprotein complexes in the autophagy pathway. We utilize a variety of biochemical, cell and biophysical techniques to investigate our scientific questions.
We are interested in discovering and understanding how protein and protein complexes regulate cellular organelles particularly in the conserved cellular pathway, Autophagy. Autophagy is a complex cascade of proteins interactions which promote the formation of a new double lipid bilayer autophagosome to encapsulate and break down cellular debris. This pathway influences development, cellular health, and protects cells against invading pathogens. Additionally, the autophagy pathway is implicated in numerous human diseases including neurodegenerative disease which are a emphasis within the group.
Our main goal is to use a combination of biochemical, biophysical and cell biological tools to identify new therapeutic avenues to prevent or treat human diseases. Currently, we are focusing on the molecular details of the membrane tethering complexes which anchor organelles together and promote membrane fusion between targeted organelles. Investigating these interactions will use techniques including cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, as well as cellular and biochemical assays.
- B.S., Biochemistry, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
- Ph.D., Chemical Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA