Department of Molecular Biology
Simches Research Center
Boston, MA 02114
Radhika Subramanian Laboratory
For a living cell to function properly, its cellular processes must be strictly controlled not only in time but also in space. We are interested in how intracellular spatial organization on the micron-length scale is achieved by the collective activity of nanometer-sized proteins. We investigate this problem in the context of the microtubule cytoskeleton.
In eukaryotes, a wide range of cellular processes such as cell division, cell migration, axonal growth and assembly of flagella and cilia rely on the dynamic and precise organization of microtubules into specialized architectures. Increasingly sophisticated genomic and proteomic analyses have now provided us with a near-complete ‘parts-list’ of the proteins involved in assembling these microtubule-based structures. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the proper formation and activity of even the minimal functional units of these structures still remain poorly understood. We aim to bridge this knowledge gap by ‘building’ or reconstituting microtubule-based architectures from the individual components.
We use a diverse set of experimental tools in our endeavor: integrating angstrom and nanometer-length scale information from X-ray crystallography and single-molecule visualization techniques with micron-length scale analysis of microtubule architectures using multi-color TIRF microscopy-based in vitro assays and cellular analyses of the cytoskeletal structures.
About Radhika Subramanian
Radhika received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University, where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Jeff Gelles to investigate the mechanism of movement of kinesin, a microtubule associated motor protein, using single-molecule imaging techniques. She then moved to the laboratory of Dr. Tarun Kapoor at the Rockefeller University where she used multi-color fluorescence microscopy-based assays and X-ray crystallography to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the dynamic assembly of microtubules to form specialized architectures during cell division.
Post-doctoral candidates interested in joining the lab should contact Radhika with a cover letter, CV and three letters of recommendation.