There are two main classes of microtubule-associated motors, dynein and kinesins. We are particularly interested in dynein, which is a large 1.5MDa protein complex. Dynein transports cargo toward microtubule minus ends. Because of how microtubules are organized in many cell types, dynein often drives transport toward the nucleus.
We aim to address fundamental questions about dynein biology. For example (1) How do dynein motor complexes assemble in vivo? (2) How do proteins that bind dynein alter its activity? (3) How does dynein specifically bind and transport different types of cargo? (4) How does dynein achieve proper localization in cells? Our overarching goal is to understand how dynein functions in cells and to define the detailed, atomistic mechanisms that result in proper dynein function in cells. To do this, we use a wide variety of techniques in the lab including single molecule-TIRF microscopy, pure protein biochemistry, cryo-electron microscopy, and live-cell imaging.