Membrane Biology and Protein Trafficking

Tomogram illustrating early secretory pathway organization in metazoans

Membrane Biology and Protein Trafficking

The fields of membrane biology and protein trafficking encompass a wide array of cellular processes pivotal to understanding basic cellular biology in all organisms from prokaryotes to mammals. Membrane biology entails studies on the biogenesis and metabolism of phospholipids as well as the biophysical dynamics of membrane and protein interactions. Although clearly integral to membrane biology, protein trafficking focuses on the molecular mechanisms controlling protein packaging into vesicular carriers and their delivery, together with membrane-associated proteins, to various organelles and the plasma membrane. The molecular control of membrane and protein trafficking is essential to understanding a multitude of cellular processes including, but not limited to, organelle biogenesis and remodeling, secretory transport carrier formation, exocytosis, endocytosis, cytokinesis, autophagy, phagocytosis, cell migration, and the development of cellular polarity. Abnormalities in these processes directly impact the pathobiology of a wide range of diseases from neurodegeneration to diabetes and are therefore essential to identify therapeutic targets to treat these disorders. Trainers in the Membrane Biology and Protein Trafficking focus group utilize an array of highly sophisticated molecular, microscopic and biophysical techniques to analyze cellular function. These approaches ultimately provide students with wide ranging experience allowing them to understand how single molecule/pathway alterations impact the overall physiology and health of plants and animals.


Guy Groblewski

Focus Group Chair Guy Groblewski
Nutritional Sciences Department
Membrane trafficking in digestive epithelia

Focus Group Members

Alan Attie

Biochemistry Department

Molecular genetics of diabetes & insulin resistance; cell biology of lipoprotein assembly, cholesterol trafficking

Anjon Audhya

Biomolecular Chemistry Department

Mechanisms of membrane trafficking; live cell imaging techniques

Arash Bashirullah

Pharmacy Department

Developmental regulation of endocrine and exocrine biology

Sebastian Bednarek

Biochemistry Department

Membrane trafficking, organelle biogenesis, cytokinesis, polarized growth

Briana Burton

Bacteriology Department

Macromolecule transport across membranes

Edwin Chapman

Neuroscience Department

Exocytosis, synaptic transmission, neuronal cell biology

Cynthia Czajkowski

Neuroscience Department

Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pentameric ligand gated ion channel signaling

Erik Dent

Neuroscience Department

Regulation of the cytoskeleton in neuronal differentiation

Donna Fernandez

Botany Department

Chloroplast protein targeting and organelle biogenesis

Mrinalini Hoon

Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Department

Mechanisms regulating retinal circuit organization

Meyer Jackson

Neuroscience Department

Electrophysiology and imaging techniques are used to explore the basic mechanisms of neuronal signaling

Timothy Kamp

Medicine Department

Cardiac ion channels function and regulation; basic mechanisms of heart failure and arrhythmias; stem cells and cardiac regeneration

Yoshihiro Kawaoka

Pathobiological Sciences Department

Molecular pathogenesis of influenza and Ebola viruses

Michelle Kimple

Medicine Department

Regulation of pancreatic beta-cell biology

Robert Kirchdoerfer

Biochemistry Department

Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy of viral proteins

Thomas Martin

Biochemistry Department

Mechanisms of hormone action; regulation of hormone/neurotransmitter secretion

Marisa Otegui

Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology & Botany Department

Endosomal trafficking in plants

David Pagliarini

Biochemistry Department

Mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism; cell signaling; proteomics

Luigi Puglielli

Medicine Department

Molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration

Gail Robertson

Neuroscience Department

Molecular mechanisms of ion channel disease

Raunak Sinha

Neuroscience Department

Neural signaling in the retina

Randal Tibbetts

Human Oncology Department

DNA repair; gene expression; neurodegeneration; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Deric Wheeler

Human Oncology Department

Mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies

Jill Wildonger

Biochemistry Department

Microtubule-based transport in developing neurons