The Division of Biosciences Patricia Clarke Lecture - Professor Mary Munson - 17 January 2018

Start: Jan 17, 2018 03:30 PM
End: Jan 17, 2018 04:30 PM

Professor Mary Munson

Title: Molecular mechanisms of cellular growth and secretion
Speaker: Professor Mary Munson - University of Massachusetts Medical School (lab page)
Venue: Darwin B40 LT (map)
Host: Professor Frances Brodsky (email)
Abstract: The regulation of vesicular traffic to precise intracellular compartments is essential for cell growth, homeostasis, signaling, cell division, and development. Membrane fusion between vesicles and their target membrane is carried out via SNARE proteins; however, additional regulatory control immediately prior to fusion is essential. The exocyst is a large, multisubunit protein complex implicated in tethering and regulation of the fusion of post-Golgi secretory vesicles with the plasma membrane, but its mechanism of action is poorly understood. We are using a multidisciplinary approach to elucidate its structure and function. Our most recent work demonstrates our groundbreaking purification method for intact yeast exocyst complexes, our genetic and biochemical dissection of the architecture of the exocyst, and the first view of the overall structure of the complex using negative stain EM. We are currently using a combination of cryoEM, crosslinking and mass spectrometry, mapping of subunits and binding partners using negative stain EM, as well as genetic, cell biological and single molecule biochemical analyses, to reveal exocyst structure and function at high resolution.
Biography: Mary Munson was a double major in Chemistry and Biology at Washington University (St. Louis), receiving her bachelor's degree in 1989. She went on to join the lab of Dr. Lynne Regan at Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and received her Ph.D. in 1996. She then joined Dr. Fred Hughson’s lab in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University as a postdoctoral fellow, and was awarded both American Heart Association and NIH postdoctoral fellowships. She joined the faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2001. Her multidisciplinary research lab focuses on using biochemical, structural, cell biological, microscopy and genetic studies to elucidate the structure and function of the exocyst complex, SNARE proteins and other key regulators of membrane trafficking in yeast and mammalian cells. The lab also studies a related endocytic trafficking regulator VPS45 that has been implicated in neutrophil disorders and human disease, and is currently working on developing a novel mouse model system. Furthermore, her lab is interested in elucidating components of a new RNA transport pathway from the nucleus. Along with funding from the NIH for her exocytosis research, she has also received funding from the US Department of Defense for the VPS45 project, and, was previously awarded the inaugural Bassick Family Worcester Foundation Award for the nuclear export project. In addition to her passion for research, she has also been involved with teaching and curriculum development for the Graduate School of Biomedical Science, and is the recipient of several Dean’s awards for her outstanding contributions.
For more information please visit the Munson Lab website or Mary's LinkedIn profile.

The annual Patricia Clarke Lecture honours women in science. Patricia Clarke, FRS (1919-2010) was one of Britain’s most distinguished biochemists in the second half of the 20th century, and was a key part of the UCL biochemistry department for 30 years, joining in 1953.