Primary AppointmentMolecular Physiology and Biological Physics
Contact InformationTelephone: (434) 982-3256
Architecture and function of biological membranes
Research Description One of the major goals of my research program is to understand the role of membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts and caveolae in health and disease. We address this question using a combination of live cell imaging, cell biology, biophysics, structural, and biochemical approaches. Current projects ongoing in the lab include: 1. How do proteins and lipid cooperate to build functional raft domains? 2. How do bacterial toxins exploit lipid rafts as a mechanism to enter host cells? 3. How do cholesterol and lipid rafts contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's disease? 4. How do mutations in caveolin-1 and defects in caveolae cause human diseases such as breast cancer and pulmonary arterial hypertension? 5. What is the structural basis for caveolae formation?