Professor Jing Xu recently received an award from the NIH National Instititute of General Sciences to study the biophysics of cargo transport inside the cell. Molecular motor-based transport underlies all eukaryotic cell function and organismal health; defects in transport have emerged as a common early subcellular event in several human diseases, including neurodegeneration. This project explores how two key single-motor properties may be altered to control the mechanical transport of materials in cells. The results of this research have the potential to critically empower translational research into therapeutic strategies to combat transport defects and to extend patient life span and quality of life.
Pictured: Qiaochu Michael Li, graduate student in the Xu lab.