Laura Lackner, PhD, Northwestern University
The Lackner lab is interested in the fundamental biological question of how spatial and dynamic organization within cells is achieved. As a model for intracellular organization, we study the mechanisms that position organelles. While once thought to operate independently, it is clear that organelles contact other organelles, and the positioning of organelles and the contacts they make play critical roles in a wide variety of cellular functions. The organelle that has been the primary focus of our research is the mitochondrion. By exploiting the strengths of the facile yeast system and a combination of cell biological, genetic, and biochemical approaches, we are addressing fundamental questions about the mechanisms used by cells to position mitochondria as well as form and regulate interorganelle contacts.