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Assistant ProfessorPhone: (601) 984-1858E-mail: email@example.com
Dyneins are microtubule motors comprised of several subunits that assemble to form large, multi-subunit complexes which are targeted to distinct sites within the cell to perform a wide-range of cellular processes including playing critical roles in mitosis, transport of vesicles, viruses and mRNAs, assembly of the golgi and the movement of cilia (flagella). Cilia are important organelles found on nearly every differentiated cell and play vital motile and signaling roles in the adult human body and during development. Defects in cilia, and the ciliary dyneins which drive their movement, can lead to a wide range of pathologies called “the ciliopathies” which result in defective development and function of nearly every organ system in the adult body. Failure to assemble the ciliary dynein motors or target them to the cilium results in severe defects in ciliary movement. However, we are only just beginning to understand dynein assembly and targeting mechanisms. Moreover, dynein motor activity is tightly regulated, especially in the cilium, where multiple dynein motors work in a coordinated manner to generate complex ciliary bends and precise ciliary beat frequencies. My work uses Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model experimental organism to study mechanisms for assembly and targeting of the dynein motors to distinct sites in the cell and mechanisms that regulate dynein motor activity. "Chlamy" is a unicellular green algae with 2 cilia that are used for locomotion. Cilia are highly conserved organelles and Chlamydomonas offers exceptional experimental advantages for the study of cilia and the dynein motors that drive their movement, including genetic, ultrastructural, molecular and biochemical approaches.
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