Research

We can now determine atomic-resolution structures of just about anything, and often in multiple conformations. “Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees” - and our efforts to resolve life’s machinery will teach us how living matter works and, with some luck, will shed light on how living molecules emerged.

Our lab primarily seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern the shape, connectivity, and topology of intracellular organelles. We study how lipids and proteins work in concert to determine the forms and functions of membrane-delimited compartments. We also seek to understand the homeostatic control mechanisms linking organellostasis with proteostasis. In this second field, we study how ribosomes initiate translation, and following initiation, whether they complete translation normally or degrade nascent proteins to preserve proteostasis.

Our sources of support are listed in chronological order below, starting with our lab opening in the summer of 2011. We wouldn’t be here without these funders and the vision they share with Mary Lasker (“If you think research is expensive, try disease”). The diversity in our sources of support and the range of questions we are investigating is part design, part serendipity. Our lab believes in ecological edge effects: including increased innovation within communities that flourish in the overlap between two or more conceptual habitats.

Projects and Support