Rotation Students and Postdoctoral Fellows
We are always happy to have students rotate and there are openings for interested postdocs as well. Please contact Dr. Lusk directly for more information. Research projects center around three general themes:
- The molecular mechanisms of nuclear pore formation and nuclear pore complex (NPC) assembly.
- Despite a near comprehensive catalog of the ~30 proteins that construct the massive ~50 MDa NPC, we do not yet understand how it is put together in space and time. We are particularly interested in identifying and functionally characterizing membrane proteins involved with the generation of membrane curvature necessary for pore formation. To do this, we have devised a multi-disciplinary strategy where we couple genetic and cell biology approaches with in vitro proteo-liposome reconstitution assays designed to directly probe the mechanism of pore formation.collapse
- Mechanisms that control nuclear pore complex number in development and disease.
- The number of NPCs in a given cell has been shown to correlate with its proliferative potential and might be tuned to reflect specialized cell function during differentiation and development. There is also evidence that there might be tissue-specific NPCs that contain unique complements of nucleoporins. We have a very limited understanding, however, of how NPC number and composition is ultimately controlled, or how these pathways feed into and respond to changes in cellular physiology. We are currently exploring the most effective model system to identify these critical pathways.collapse
- The role of nuclear envelope membrane proteins in establishing and/or maintaining genome organization.
- The inner nuclear membrane directly interfaces with the genome and likely impacts several genomic processes including transcriptional regulation and chromatin structure. The direct links between the inner nuclear membrane and specific regions of chromatin, and chromatin remodeling factors remain ill defined. Through a combination of genomic and proteomic strategies, we hope to illuminate the nuclear periphery.collapse