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Colloquium: Shermali Gunawardena, SUNY at Buffalo | Biological Sciences

Tuesday
Apr 17, 2018
4:10 PM - 5:00 PM

Iacocca Hall - B-013
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem PA 18015

Delia Chatlani
610-758-3681
dmc614@lehigh.edu

Within a polarized neuron, molecular motors transport many different components (proteins, organelles, even RNA) from places where they are synthesized (cell bodies) to sites where they are utilized (nerve terminals). Although proper transport is essential for viability, little is known about the mechanisms that govern the complex cellular network that must exist to enable controlled delivery of particular cargo to specific sites. In this context the Gunawardena lab is focused on identifying how a specific kinase is involved in controlling molecular motor function in vivo. Since proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases are also transported down the axon, and are influenced by this kinase, investigations are also focused on understanding how defects in transport contribute to degeneration of neurons. Other work in the laboratory is focused on identifying how the axonal transport pathway can be utilized to direct specific therapeutic aids to relieve axonal blocks. In collaboration with Dr. Prasad’s group at the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics at UB, work in the laboratory is also focused on developing a synthetic nano-vesicle directed to the axonal transport pathway.

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