My lab focuses on understanding how proteins organize within dynamic contractile cellular architectures. Throughout my career, I have combined genetics in both single and multicellular organisms, molecular biology, microfabrication, quantitative confocal microscopy and single molecule localization super-resolution microscopy to investigate the fundamental question of how proteins organize in tensile force generating machineries. I have more than 10 years of experience studying contractile cellular architectures during morphogenesis and cell division.
Understanding the complex organization of dense protein structures in cells has been hindered by the lack of high-resolution visualization tools in live cells. I have laid the groundwork for understanding protein organization in cellular architectures by establishing a method to perform quantitative high-speed super resolution microscopy in live fission yeast cells. This new technology provides a powerful tool to answer biological questions that are unattainable using established fluorescence microscopy methods and is directly applicable to other model organisms.
Since January 2017, I have been heading an independent research group at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. I was the first faculty to be hired as a member of the “Modeling the Living Embryo” cluster, an interdisciplinary program of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program (CFEP) (https://facultyclusters.ncsu.edu/). My lab focuses on applying advanced quantitative imaging techniques and developing computational tools to further the understanding of protein assemblies in dividing fission yeast cells.