Our Research

molecular motorsMolecular motors

Cytoplasmic dynein, kinesin, and myosin motors drive the intracellular motility of vesicles and organelles.  We use biophysical approaches including single molecule analysis to study motor dynamics and motor coordination.

Axonal transportaxonal transport

The coordinated activities of kinesin and dynein motors are required to drive long distance transport in axons that can extend up to a meter from the cell body.  We use live cell imaging and in vitro reconstitution to study this process.

 

cytoskeletal dynamicsCytoskeletal dynamics

The regulation of dynamic instability by +TIPs affects multiple neuronal functions including axonal transport and synaptic stability; we investigate these processes with live imaging and in vitro reconstitution.

 

Neuronal autophagyneuronal autophagy

Autophagy is required to clear dysfunctional organelles and aggregated proteins.  Using live imaging, we have identified a spatially-specific and ordered pathway for autophagosome biogenesis and maturation along the axon. 

 

Neurodegenerative diseaseneurodegenerative disease

Mutations in molecular motors or defects in their regulation lead to neurodegeneration.  We use mechanistic approaches to study the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration in ALS, CMT, and Huntington’s disease.