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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Goldstein, Bob
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biophysics, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology

We address fundamental issues in cell and developmental biology, issues such as how cells move to specific positions, how the orientations of cell divisions are determined, how the mitotic spindle is positioned in cells, and how cells respond to cell signaling – for example Wnt signaling, which is important in development and in cancer biology. We are committed to applying whatever methods are required to answer important questions. As a result, we use diverse methods, including methods of cell biology, developmental biology, forward and reverse genetics including RNAi, biochemistry, biophysics, mathematical and computational modeling and simulations, molecular biology, and live microscopy of cells and of the dynamic components of the cytoskeleton – microfilaments, microtubules, and motor proteins. Most experiments in the lab use C. elegans embryos, and we have also used Drosophila and Xenopus recently. C. elegans is valuable as a model system because of the possibility of combining the diverse techniques above to answer a wide array of interesting questions. We also have a long-term project to develop a new model system for studying how biological materials can survive extremes, using little-studied organisms called tardigrades. Rotating graduate students learn to master existing techniques, and students who join the lab typically grow their rotation projects into larger, long term projects, and/or develop creative, new projects.

Erie, Dorothy
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Chemistry

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Genetics, Molecular Medicine, Structural Biology

The research in my lab is divided into two main areas – 1) Atomic force microscopy and fluorescence studies of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions, and 2) Mechanistic studies of transcription elongation. My research spans the biochemical, biophysical, and analytical regimes.

Elston, Timothy
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Pharmacology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biophysics, Computational Biology, Pharmacology, Systems Biology

The Elston lab is interested in understanding the dynamics of complex biological systems, and developing reliable mathematical models that capture the essential components of these systems. The projects in the lab encompass a wide variety of biological phenomena including signaling through MAPK pathways, noise in gene regulatory networks, airway surface volume regulation, and understanding energy transduction in motor proteins. A major focus of our research is understanding the role of molecular level noise in cellular and molecular processes. We have developed the software tool BioNetS to accurately and efficiently simulate stochastic models of biochemical networks

Cheney, Richard
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Neuroscience

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Biology, Cell Biology, Neurobiology

Our goal is to understand the fundamental cell biology underlying processes such as neurodevelopment, angiogenesis, and the metastasis of cancer cells. Most of our experiments focus on molecular motors such as myosin-X and on the finger-like structures known as filopodia. We generally utilize advanced imaging techniques such as TIRF and single-molecule imaging in conjunction with mammalian cell culture. We also use molecular biology and biochemistry and are in the process of developing a mouse model to investigate the functions of myosin-X and filopodia. We are looking for experimentally driven students who have strong interests in understanding the molecular basis of dynamic cellular processes such as filopodial extension, mechanosensing, and cell migration.

Carter, Charles
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Computational Biology, Molecular Biology, Structural Biology

Molecular evolution and mechanistic enzymology find powerful synergy in our study of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, which translate the genetic code. Class I Tryptophanyl-tRNA Synthetase stores free energy as conformational strain imposed by long-range, interactions on the minimal catalytic domain (MCD) when it binds ATP. We study how this allostery works using X-ray crystallography, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics, enzyme kinetics, and thermodynamics. As coding sequences for class I and II MCDs have significant complementarity, we also pursuing their sense/antisense ancestry. Member of the Molecular & Cellular Biophysics Training Program.

Campbell, Sharon
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EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Cell Biology & Physiology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Structural Biology

Current research projects in the Campbell laboratory include structural, biophysical and biochemical studies of wild type and variant Ras and Rho family GTPase proteins, as well as the identification, characterization and structural elucidation of factors that act on these GTPases. Ras and Rho proteins are members of a large superfamily of related guanine nucleotide binding proteins. They are key regulators of signal transduction pathways that control cell growth. Rho GTPases regulate signaling pathways that also modulate cell morphology and actin cytoskeletal organization. Mutated Ras proteins are found in 30% of human cancers and promote uncontrolled cell growth, invasion, and metastasis. Another focus of the lab is in biochemical and biophysical characterization of the cell adhesion proteins, focal adhesion kinase, vinculin, paxillin and palladin. These proteins are involved in actin cytoskeletal rearrangements and cell motility, amongst other functions. Most of our studies are conducted in collaboration with laboratories that focus on molecular and cellular biological aspects of these problems. This allows us to direct cell-based signaling, motility and transformation analyses. Member of the Molecular & Cellular Biophysics Training Program.

Bourret, Bob
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EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Genetics, Structural Biology

Our long-term goal is to define the molecular mechanisms of two-component regulatory systems, which are utilized for signal transduction by bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic microorganisms, and plants. Our current focus is to identify and understand the features that control the rates of several different types of protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation reactions. The kinetics of phosphotransfer reactions can vary dramatically between different pathways and reflect the need to synchronize biological responses (e.g. behavior, development, physiology, virulence) to environmental stimuli. Member of the Molecular & Cellular Biophysics Training Program.

Bloom, Kerry
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biochemistry & Biophysics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Biology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Genetics & Molecular Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biophysics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology

Our objective is to understand the dynamic and structural properties of chromosomes during mitosis. We use live cell imaging techniques to address how kinetochores are assembled, capture microtubules and promote faithful segregation of chromosomes.

Jarstfer, Michael
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EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Pharmaceutical Sciences

RESEARCH INTEREST
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Chemical Biology, Molecular Medicine, Structural Biology

The Jarstfer lab uses an interdisciplinary approach to solve biological problems that are germane to human health.   Currently we are investigating the structure of the enzyme telomerase, we are developing small-molecules that target the telomere for drug discovery and chemical biology purposes, and we are investigating the signals that communicate the telomere state to the cell in order to control cellular immortality. We are also engaged in a drug/chemical tool discovery project to identify small molecules that control complex social behavior in mammals.  Techniques include standard molecular biology and biochemistry of DNA, RNA, and proteins, occasional organic synthesis, and high throughput screening.

Kash, Thomas
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Cell Biology & Physiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Behavior, Biophysics, Neurobiology, Pharmacology, Physiology

Emotional behavior is regulated by a host of chemicals, including neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, acting on specific circuits within the brain. There is strong evidence for the existence of both endogenous stress and anti-stress systems. Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse and stress are hypothesized to modulate the relative balance of activity of these systems within key circuitry in the brain leading to dysregulated emotional behavior. One of the primary focuses of the Kash lab is to understand how chronic drugs of abuse and stress alter neuronal function, focusing on these stress and anti-stress systems in brain circuitry important for anxiety-like behavior. In particular, we are interested in defining alterations in synaptic function, modulation and plasticity using a combination of whole-cell patch-clamp physiology, biochemistry and mouse models.  Current projects are focused on the role of a unique population of dopamine neurons in alcoholism and anxiety.