Welcome to the Protein Acrobatics Lab!
We are hard at work engineering proteins into revealing the secrets of how they function within live cells. Every eukaryotic cell is comprised of a vast and dense network of proteins that perform diverse functions from simple go-between adaptors to complex mega-machines.
We are focused on two aspects of this intracellular protein network. One is the propagation of information within cells through interaction between proteins and the second is the generation of mechanical movement in cells by motor proteins.
To visualize the size of a single protein, imagine the earth. Now shrink it so it is the size of a football in your hand. Now shrink the football the same amount and you hold in your palm a single protein. The small size of these nature-nanoblocks requires no small creativity on our part to unravel their workings. Fortunately, we stand on the shoulders of giants.
A mosaic of information from x-ray crystallography, protein biochemistry, single molecule biophysics and computational modeling serve as individual blueprints. We integrate this information with some innovative approaches of our own to further our understanding of how cells work. Disruption of cell homeostasis in disease frequently results from impaired or abnormal protein function. Our research seeks to understand the mechanisms of disease processes by using novel techniques to examine changes in protein function.
As a research group we span the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology. We are part of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Medical School and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Our lab space is located on the 3rd floor of the Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BSRB) in the Medical School campus. Our laboratory is part of the Biophysics Program, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program (CMB), Chemical Biology Doctoral Program, and the Cardiovascular Center.
We invite you to explore more details of who we are and what we do in these webpages.
The latest news about the Protein Acrobatics Lab can be found here.