Prof. Bruce Goode
I started doing research in 1986 as an undergraduate, and immediately fell in love with the beauty and complexity of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, which consist of hundreds of moving parts that dynamically self-organize into force-generating biological structures. This fascination with molecular machines has fueled my lab’s research, and led us to define the molecular functions and mechanisms of many different cytoskeletal proteins. My other professional passion is mentoring, where my goals are to: (1) promote teamwork and collaboration within the group, and (2) help each person succeed in achieving their individual research and career goals. Outside of science, I love spending time with my dogs and family, cycling, and movies.
Dr. Gregory Hoeprich
My research focuses on three large mammalian proteins (IQGAP, APC, and Dia1) that interact at the leading edge of cells to control actin assembly and drive cell protrusion. To dissect this complex multi-component mechanism, I am using in vitro single molecule TIRF imaging, and directly observing these proteins interacting with each other and actin filaments in real time. In parallel, I am testing these mechanisms in cultured mammalian cells by combining genetics and live imaging.
Dr. Alison Wirshing
My research interest lies in understanding mechanisms controlling cell architecture, and I am using the budding yeast S. cerevisiae as a model. My main project so far has been to understand how yeast formins, capping protein, and their binding partners dynamically interact and exchange at the barbed ends of actin filaments to control actin filament assembly, and in turn polarized cell growth.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change structure at the cellular level in response to stimulus - a process believed to be the basis of learning and memory. My work explores the roles of two proteins, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and Drebrin, in coordinating the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons and dynamically remodeling the morphology of mammalian neurons.
Dr. Shane McInally
Jointly with the Kondev lab (Physics department)
The broad question addressed by my research is how cells assemble structures of a specific size. More specifically, I am using mathematical modeling, quantitative imaging, and genetic and cell biological approaches to understand how the length of yeast actin cables scales with cell size.
Dr. Amy Sinclair
My research focuses on interplay between the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons which underlies cell polarization and motility. I am investigating how three interacting cytoskeletal proteins (human IQGAP1, APC, and Dia1) work in concert to coordinate microtubule and actin dynamics at the leading edge and promote directed cell migration.
Dr. Thomas Rands
My research addresses how formins are regulated in budding yeast to produce networks of polarized actin cables that facilitate polarized cell growth. I have identified a new gene/protein, ‘Bil2’, which differentially regulates the two yeast formins, Bni1 and Bnr1, and shares an essential role with other formin regulators.
I am broadly interested in multi-component mechanisms controlling actin disassembly, and my project specifically focuses on collaborations among Cofilin, Aip1, and Srv2/CAP in stimulating actin filament severing and depolymerization. To accomplish this, I am using single molecule TIRF microscopy combined with yeast genetic analysis.
My research focuses on the mechanisms by which yeast ADF/Cofilin severs and depolymerizes actin filaments, and how a different member of the larger ADF-homology protein family, Abp1, influences Cofilin’s functions. To tackle this problem, I am combining in vitro single molecule TIRF imaging with yeast genetics and cell biology.
My research focuses on how actin networks are ‘debranched’, or pruned at the leading edge of cells. Specifically, I am studying the combined mechanistic effects of mammalian GMF, Cofilin, and Coronin in stimulating actin filament debranching and turnover using in vitro single molecule imaging combined with live- and fixed-cell imaging in mammalian cells. Outside of my research, I spend time baking, cycling, and advocating for underrepresented groups in Life Sciences.
Dr. Joseph Lopes
Duclos lab (Physics department)
My work lies at the interface of Physics and Biology and focuses on building biomimetic active materials powered by actin polymer assembly and turnover. The goal of my project is to engineer novel propulsion mechanisms that produce emergent dynamics at the material scale.
Kondev lab (Physics department)
The goal of my research is to uncover cellular mechanisms for controlling the length of cytoskeletal structures, using yeast actin cables as a model. Combining math, theory, genetics, and super-resolution imaging, I am testing models for length control in which a formin-inhibitor (Smy1) is delivered on actin cables, by a myosin motor, to the formin that assembles the cables.
Undergraduate Researchers and Techs
In Loving Memory
Lazer Pointer Specialist