Our laboratory is focused on studying the cooperative behavior of molecular motors and protein engineering of FRET bio-sensors.
Molecular motors are the engines that drive movement within a cell. They are essential for muscle contraction, cell motility and intracellular transport. Research in the last decade has focused on using a variety of single molecule biophysics techniques to understand the interaction between a molecular motor and its cargo track. However, cellular functions of molecular motors emerge from cooperative interaction between ensembles of motors and tracks. Our laboratory is delving into this unexplored frontier of molecular motor research. We use a combination of protein engineering, in vitro reconstitution and live cell imaging, combined with stochastic simulations, to decipher the cooperative behavior of these nano-machines.
Signaling cascades within cells rely on the dynamic interaction between proteins. These interactions are dictated by protein conformation, post-translational modifications and local concentrations. Understanding these dynamic interactions and how they are misregulated in disease states is an essential first step to pharmacological intervention. Our laboratory uses a novel protein structural element, the ER/K -helix to systematically regulate the interaction between proteins or protein domains. Protein engineering using the ER/K -helix is applied to the design of FRET bio-sensors, measurement of intracellular protein concentrations and regulation of enzyme auto-inhibition.
For a detailed description of the lab’s research interests please visit our lab page.