Cilia are evolutionarily ancient, hair-like organelles that enable intercellular communication. Much like cellular scale antennae, cilia protrude into the extracellular environment where they receive signals from neighboring cells. This process, called ciliary signal transduction, influences cell division, differentiation and migration. Defects in ciliary signal transduction lead to clinical disorders, called ciliopathies, that impact brain, heart and bone development.
The goal of our lab is to understand how mammalian cells build cilia, with a specific focus on how individual proteins traffic to and from a structure at the base of cilia, called the centrosome. Much like traffic cameras and GPS illuminate vehicular traffic patterns, we aim to create a spatial map of protein movement to and from cilia as they assemble and sense the environment. To achieve our goal, we combine high-resolution fluorescence microscopy with digital image analysis to detect and quantify ciliary protein trafficking in space and over time. Students in the lab gain experience with mammalian cell culture, CRISPR, fluorescence microscopy, digital image analysis, and molecular biology.
If you are interested in joining the lab as an undergraduate or graduate student, send me an email that describes your interest in our work.
Educational & Professional Experience
2013 - PhD - University of Colorado at Boulder
2005 - BS - Millersville University of Pennsylvania
2018 - present Assistant professor
2013-2018 Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Chad Pearson - University of Colorado School of Medicine
2007-2013 Graduate student with Dr. Kevin Jones - University of Colorado at Boulder
2005-2007 Research technician with Dr. Narayan Avadhani - University of Pennsylvania