Structural insight into the assembly and function of membrane remodeling complexes
The goal of my lab is to unravel the molecular mechanisms that control essential intracellular membrane remodeling and trafficking events, such as endo-lysosomal trafficking, apoptosis, autophagy and regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Our main focus is to determine the structure and function of protein complexes involved in the regulation of these pathways using a combination of structural biology and cell biology techniques. Iām especially interested in how membrane bending BAR domain proteins and members of the dynamin family of large GTPases, responsible for membrane fission and fusion, assemble into large complexes and coordinate their efforts to regulate fundamental cellular events. Long-term, we aim to investigate how dysregulation of intracellular membrane remodeling processes may contribute to infectious diseases and cancer. Equipped with a Titan Krios electron microscope (FEI) fitted with phase plates and a direct electron detector, we are able to solve the 3D structure of key proteins and protein complexes at atomic resolution, in the ultimate effort to identify novel drug targets.