How do cells move?
We combine microscopy, comparative genomics, and phylogenetics, using both established and new model organisms, to provide comprehensive and coherent answers to this fundamental question.
We are fascinated by the complex molecular events required for amoeboid crawling and flagellar swimming—the two predominant forms of eukaryotic cell motility, conserved over billions of years of evolutionary history, and which are central to the progression and/or prevention of important human diseases.
Day-to-day, we couple comparative genomics, phylogenetics, and microscopy to generate hypotheses about cell motility, which we test in a variety of organisms and cell types, including human neutrophils, insect cells, the amoeboflagellate Naegleria gruberi, and more recently Bradiochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungal disease devastating amphibian populations world-wide. Studying a broad range of organisms allows us to uncover core, conserved features of cell motility, as well as discover new and unexpected behaviors of less-studied cells.