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The Macara laboratory is a wonderfully diverse group of scientists, with students and postdocs from France, Russia, the UK, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Canada, as well as the US.  We strongly support racial, gender, and geographic diversity and inclusivity.

We are excited by fundamental questions about epithelial homeostasis and cancer initiation.  Most human cancers arise from epithelial tissues.  We use the mouse mammary gland and skin, and human organoids, as model systems (Dev Cell 2020). Transgenic mice provide powerful tools to probe stem cell function, breast cancer initiation mechanisms, and responses to injury. We have developed new genome-wide CRISPR screens to identify novel genes involved in epithelial homeostasis (eLife 2020), cell competition, and apical-basal polarity.  We also endogenously tag (with GFP, Halo, etc) proteins involved in epithelial cell polarity and polarized vesicle transport, using CRISPR gene-editing, so as to track these proteins with single molecule sensitivity.  We employ multi-channel TIRFM and near-TIRF microscopy, which provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution of protein complex dynamics (Nature Commun 2018).  Finally, we are creating new mouse models of disease, using CRISPR technology to introduce fluorescent tags into endogenous alleles, and point mutations in a subunit of the exocyst, that correspond to mutations found in a rare human neurological disease (JEM 2020).

 

INTERESTED IN A POSTDOCTORAL POSITION OR PhD RESEARCH IN THE LAB? – CONTACT IAN MACARA AT ian.g.macara@vanderbilt.edu.