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Cytoskeletal proteins generate mechanical forces, which drive numerous cellular processes that are essential for life.  Research in our laboratory is focused on elucidating the function of the actin cytoskeleton and its associated myosin motor proteins.  The context for our studies is the ‘brush border’: an array of actin-based protrusions known as microvilli, which extend from the surface of polarized epithelial cells.  In the gut, the brush border serves as the sole site of nutrient absorption and a barrier to micro-organisms that reside in the lumenal space.  Using an approach that combines biophysics, biochemistry, and cell biology, we are currently studying mechanisms that control microvillar assembly, dynamics, morphology, and function. A broad long-term goal is to develop our understanding of molecules and pathways that may be perturbed in GI diseases characterized by loss of the brush border (e.g. enteropathogenic E. coli infection, celiac disease, and microvillus inclusion disease).  The Tyska laboratory is part of the Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology.

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Welcome new IGP and QCB graduate students!

If you are interested in learning more and talking about possible rotation projects, feel free to contact Dr. Tyska (T-2212 MCN).

Postdoctoral training opportunities

Postdoctoral positions are available to investigate the cytoskeletal control of epithelial cell morphogenesis using state-of-the-art cell biological and biophysical approaches. Interested candidates should email a copy of their C.V. and the names of three references to Dr. Tyska.