Michael A. Cianfrocco, PhD [HHMI Fellow] with his sponsors Andres Leschziner, PhD, and Samara L. Reck-Peterson, PhD, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, studies proteins called dynactin and dynein that function to transport organelles within the cell, a process that is particularly important during cell division. He aims to elucidate the structural basis for dynactin's ability to regulate dynein activity. Since many viruses, including cancer-causing oncoviruses, require dynein to be transported from the cell membrane to the nucleus for genome replication, understanding the molecular details of dynein-dynactin function may provide novel targets for cancer therapies.
Justin M. Crest, PhD, with his sponsor David Bilder, PhD, at the University of California, Berkeley, California, is studying the mechanical forces between cells and their underlying substrate, or extracellular matrix (ECM). The physical properties of cells and the ECM shape tissues during development and are critical for malignant tumor progression and metastasis. His research will determine which molecules generate and balance the mechanical forces involved in migration and tissue formation and thus identify novel mechanisms of malignancy.
Mary Williard Elting, PhD, with her sponsor Sophie Dumont, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, California, studies the mechanics of cell division, with the goal of understanding how cells accurately transmit one copy of their genetic information
|Contact: Yung S. Lie|
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation