THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT
Professor Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Monday, April 16, 2018
Seminar will be held in MR-1307 (Marshak Building) at 2:00 PM
Reception will be held in Steinman Hall, Exhibit Room – 1st Floor
From 3:00 – 3:30 PM
From Fluids to Fibers: Liquid Phase Separation and Neurodegeneration
Liquid phase separation is rapidly emerging as a key mechanism underlying a broad set of cellular processes including its implication in neurodegenerative disease. Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), a protein class with known links to neurodegeneration, have recently been identified as major molecular drivers of liquid phase separation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms inherent to disordered protein assembly and phase separated material states is a crucial step towards the full realization of the impact of phase separation on cellular function and disease. Here, I will present recent advances in quantifying phase separation of disordered proteins, from molecular lev el interactions to emergent material properties; including the identification of a characteristic length scale bridging molecular and material level properties using the model Caenorhabditis elegans P granule protein LAF-1. These findings begin to reveal the specific role for protein disorder in phase separation, as well as the mechanism for feedback between material properties and molecular diffusion with important implications for the regulation or misregulation of intracellular liquid phase separation.
Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle, PhD, is an Assistant Professor with the ASRC Structural Biology Initiative, as well as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Elbaum-Garfinkle’s research focuses on protein and RNA granules, intracellular liquid organelles, and protein assembly and aggregation, as well as neurophysiology and degeneration. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, where she received a Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. She is a City University of New York graduate, having earned a B.A. in Physics from Hunter College.