Avital A. Rodal, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Biology
Institution
Brandeis University
Address
415 South St MS029
City, State, Zip
Waltham, MA 2453
Phone
(781) 736-2459
E-mail
arodal[at]brandeis.edu
Website
http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/rodallab/
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2013

Research

Our lab focuses on how membranes are sculpted and shaped within cells. The chief distinction between prokaryotic organisms like bacteria and eukaryotic organisms like animals is that eukaryotic cells have subcellular membrane-bound organelles. How an organelle's membrane takes on its characteristic shape is largely unknown. With the Pew award, I aim to determine how components of an interacting network of membrane-deforming proteins cooperate. We will use genetics, in vivo super-resolution microscopy, and in vitro reconstitution experiments to uncover how the shape of an organelle's envelope changes the shape of the organelles themselves. Our goal is to highlight how teamwork between multiple proteins leads to effective organization of cellular compartments in living things. This work could provide insight into therapies related to movement of proteins within and between organelles, which when defective, can cause disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.