Protein Trafficking

Many devastating human diseases arise from the accumulation of unfolded and aggregated proteins including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AD, HD and PD. How unfolded proteins, either as soluble or aggregated species, cause disease remains poorly understood, and multiple mechanisms are likely involved.

Existing therapeutic strategies include dissolving already-formed oligomers or aggregates and preventing protein aggregation by enhancing early steps of protein folding or degradation. Here we propose new strategies based on the hypothesis that up-regulation of vesicular trafficking pathways, lysosomal function and/or autophagy can clear cells of toxic proteins.

We will take advantage of our extensive, complementary expertise in the molecular mechanisms of membrane transport to develop these novel approaches to therapy.

MEETING SCHEDULE

All meetings begin at 3:00 pm and are open to only faculty associated with the hub

August 13, 2021 – Lois – Zoom
September 10, 2021 – Mara – Zoom
October 8, 2021 – Phyllis – Zoom
November 12, 2021 – Jim – Zoom
December 3, 2021 – Dan – Zoom
January 14, 2022 – Haoxing  – Zoom
February 11, 2022 – Wang – Zoom
March 11, 2022 – Sami – Zoom
April 8, 2022 – Ming – Zoom
May 13, 2022 – Shyamal – Zoom
June 10, 2022 –  Lois – Zoom
July 8, 2022 – Mara – Zoom
August 12, 2022 – No Meeting

Co Directors

Lois S. Weisman, Ph.D.

Lois S. Weisman, Ph.D.

Lois S. Weisman is the Sarah Winans Newman Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. Her lab uses cultured neurons, cell lines and yeast to study neurodegeneration and cancer, with the goal of determining the mechanisms of myosin V based transport and phosphoinositide signaling.  The ultimate goal is to develop novel therapies for relevant diseases.

Mara Duncan, Ph.D.

Mara Duncan, Ph.D.

Mara Duncan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. Her lab seeks to understand the proteins important for membrane traffic, the process by which trans-membrane proteins and proteins inside organelle arrive at their correct location.  They investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the movement of proteins between organelles, they identify the proteins that function in this process, how they interact with one another, and broadly how the process of membrane traffic contributes to global cell functions including nutrient responses, signal transduction, and morphology at the cellular and tissue level.

Members

Daniel J. Klionsky, Ph.D.

Daniel J. Klionsky, Ph.D.

Daniel Klionsky is the Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences and Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. His laboratory investigates how cells respond to stress conditions, and the broader implications for human physiology and disease – including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

Sami Barmada, M.D., Ph.D.

Sami Barmada, M.D., Ph.D.

Sami Barmada is the Angela Dobson and Lyndon Welch Research Professor of Neurology and Associate Professor of Neurology. His laboratory investigates RNA and protein metabolism in primary neurons and human stem cell-derived neurons, how deficiencies in these pathways lead to neurodegeneration in ALS and FTD, and how these pathways can be modified to prevent neuron loss. 

Shyamal Mosalaganti, Ph.D.

Shyamal Mosalaganti, Ph.D.

Shyamal Mosalaganti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and U-M Life Sciences Institute.  His research uses advanced microscopy to understand how cellular structures perform their functions within the context of the cell environment and how these functions contribute to health and disease.

Yanzhuang Wang, Ph.D.

Yanzhuang Wang, Ph.D.

Yanzhuang Wang is a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology. His research focuses on the biogenesis, function, and defects of the Golgi in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Phyllis Hanson, M.D., Ph.D.

Phyllis Hanson, M.D., Ph.D.

Phyllis Hanson is the Minor J. Coon Collegiate Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry.  She is also the Chair of Biological Chemistry.  Her research focuses on understanding how proteins interact to regulate the structure and organization of cell membranes both inside and outside the cell, and has implications for understanding a wide range of diseases including among others neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and the debilitating movement disorder, dystonia.

Ming Li, Ph.D.

Ming Li, Ph.D.

Ming Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.  His laboratory uses budding yeast and mammalian cells to study the regulation and quality control of lysosomal membrane proteins.

Catherine Collins, Ph.D.

Catherine Collins, Ph.D.

Catherine Collins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology . Her research is interested in the cellular mechanisms that neurons use to alter synaptic structure in response to environmental and developmental cues.  Of particular interest is the cell biology of signaling within axons, which connect neurons to distant parts of the brain and body.

Haoxing Xu, Ph.D.

Haoxing Xu, Ph.D.

Haoxing Xu is a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. His laboratory is interested in understanding the physiological and pathological functions of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channels, lysosome ion channels, and Ca2+ signaling.

James Shayman, M.D.

James Shayman, M.D.

James Shayman is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology. His laboratory develops small molecule inhibitors of glycosphingolipid synthases for use in lysosomal storage diseases.  They have also discovered a novel lysosomal phospholipase A2 and are investigating its role in autoimmune disorders.