We can now determine or predict the atomic-resolution structure of almost anything, but we didn’t come here to collect structures. “Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees” and our projects start with this optimism: structural biology is discovery biology. 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.

The Frost lab studies how lipids and proteins co-assemble to govern the forms and functions of cells. Using genetics, biochemistry, light and electron microscopy, we dissect the mechanisms that shape the nuclear envelope and the mitochondria and that, in turn, regulate gene expression and energy flows. We also seek to understand the control mechanisms that link organelle homeostasis with proteostasis. In this second field, we study how organelles modulate new protein synthesis by the ribosome via the integrated stress response and the ribosome-associated quality control pathways.

Our sources of research support are listed below in chronological order, starting with our lab’s 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 investigate is part design, part serendipity. Our lab believes in edge effects: adaptive innovation within ecosystems the evolve within the overlap between two or more habitats.

Projects and Support