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Membrane Trafficking

EM micrograph of Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum

Image: Transmission EM micrograph of Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum. Courtesy Timo Meerloo and Marilyn Farquhar.


Membrane Trafficking has been a core interest in CMM since the Department's founding. Currently, Marilyn Farquhar uses a variety of techniques, including electron microscopy, biochemical reconstitution, and genetics, to study the interplay between G-protein and growth-factor mediated signaling and membrane trafficking. Peter Novick, the George Palade Endowed Chair, studies the role of signaling molecules - Rab GTPases and their GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) and guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) - in the directional transport of lipids and other macromolecules between the nuclear membrane, ER, Golgi apparatus, and the cell membrane. Susan Ferro-Novick's lab is interested in how different organelles maintain their identity in the face of constant inter-organelle membrane traffic. Other work in CMM includes the role of membrane trafficking in neuronal development and function, the cell cycle, and cell morphogenesis.