Biological, Physical Chemistry
Biological and Physical Chemistry of Cell Membranes, Cellular Signal Transduction
BS, 1979, University of Michigan; PhD, 1984 Stanford University; Postdoctoral Fellow 1984-1987, University of California, Berkeley
244 Goessmann Laboratory
Principal Research Interests
Organization and self-assembly biological membranes provide a rich array of intriguing problems. Phase separation of lipids and other forms of lateral organization are relevant to biological processes of membrane-associated proteins. In nature, membranes are scaffolds for the assembly of proteins that function in concert with one another, but not individually. A technological analog we have developed is a protein assembly process mediated by a lipid vesicle, which facilitates the formation of self-assembled protein arrays on the membrane surface (see picture). Research topics include innovations in the technology itself, via the design and synthesis of novel reagents for assembly, and the application of the technology to various problems in membrane biology; e.g. signal transduction and membrane remodeling processes. The bacterial chemotaxis signaling pathway is one example of a biological in which we have continued interest, which functions as an adaptive array of membrane-associated proteins. Cooperative interactions among these proteins are somehow responsible for the high sensitivity (< 1% concentration change detected) and the wide dynamic range (nM to mM); the structure and function of this array is yet to be elucidated.