- Associate Professor of Biology, Director of Graduate Studies
- Email: email@example.com
- Office: (434) 243-5297
- Lab: (434) 243-5302
- Office: 210 PLSB
- B.S., SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, 1977
- Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1983
Our research strives to understand how cells maintain their dynamic actin filament cytoskeleton required for many cellular processes, including, cell migration, maintaining shape, and for trafficking. To learn the molecular mechanisms by which dynamic actin filaments provide these diverse cellular functions, we visualize actin dynamics in living cells and complement the in vivo observations with biochemical approaches. The GTPase dynamin2 plays an unexpected role in regulating actin filament dynamics during cell migration and endocytosis. Our recent work implicates dynamin2, together with its interacting partner cortactin, as regulators of actin filament crosslinking that influences the mechanical properties of the cytoskeletal network.
Dynamic actin is also associated with early endosomes and appears to be essential for efficient receptor traffic via endosomal recycling pathways. We aim to understand how of dynamic endosome-associated actin facilitates recycling traffic.
A long-standing interest is to know how cells move. One focus has been on capping protein, a ubiquitous actin-binding protein that regulates filament growth by "capping" the fast-growing end of actin filaments. Proteins of the Ena/VASP family antagonize capping in vitro . We have used TIRF microscopy to determine the mechanisms whereby Ena/VASP proteins regulate cell motility by antagonizing actin filament capping.