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Lab Members/Photos

Click here to see group photos and lab outings

Randy Schekman
schekman at berkeley dot edu

A brief biography of Randy on the HHMI website.

News about Randy's 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine.

Photos from the Schekman Symposium held in August 2014.


Stephanie Canon (admin coordinator)
stephaniecanon at berkeley dot edu

Criss Hartzell (visiting professor)
criss.hartzell at emory dot edu

The Anoctamin (ANO, also known as TMEM16) proteins are a family of ion channels and lipid scramblases. I plan to explore the role(s) of ANO6 in the production of extracellular vesicles and to characterize the composition and trafficking of vesicles dependent on ANO6 using novel biochemical approaches.

Ying Huang (undergrad)
yinghuang1201 at berkeley dot edu

Alpha-synuclein is a protein found primarily in the brain. Its function is largely unknown but alpha-synuclein aggregates are the main components of Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease. Some studies have shown that alpha-synuclein leaves the cell through the unconventional secretion pathway (USP) and then affects other healthy cells through cell-to-cell transmission. I plan on studying the secretion pathway and the various forms of alpha-synuclein through different approaches. 

Arup Indra (visiting professor)
arup.indra at oregonstate dot edu

I am using novel biochemical approaches to characterize extracellular vesicles (EVs) and vesicle sub-populations from primary skin cells. I plan to determine how vesicle-mediated transfer of RNA and protein cargoes in an autocrine and paracrine manner control physiological and pathological changes during wound healing in mammals.

Anvita Kulshrestha (undergrad)
anvitak at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are a part of a large family of vesicles that are extremely important for many cellular functions. tRNA is highly enriched in exosomes but the molecular mechanism of packaging tRNA into exosomes is still unknown. As part of my project, I will investigate tRNA packaging into exosomes through a tRNA packaging assay. Using this assay, I will further investigate the proteins responsible for tRNA packaging.

Bob Lesch (lab manager)
lesch at berkeley dot edu

I'm the Schekman lab manager, and I help keep the lab running. When I'm not doing that, I might be out hiking in the mountains (e.g. Kings Canyon in adjacent photo) or taking photos of wildflowers. Here is a link to my collection of flower photos if you'd like to see them: Bob's Wildflower Photos

Xiaoman Liu (post-doc)
xiaoman.liu at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are released by many cells to the extracellular space and may mediate cell-to-cell communication. In addition to proteins, exosomes transport various nucleic acids, such as mRNAs, miRNAs and non-coding RNAs to neighboring cells. However, the mechanism(s) that control the selective sorting of RNAs into exosomes remain incompletely explored. My work is to investigate the underlying mechanism(s) of exosomal RNA selection, which hopefully could pave the way to evaluate the function of exosomes in vivo in a situation that might rely on the delivery of a particular exosomal protein or RNA molecules to specific target cells.

Liang Ma (post-doc)
liangm92 at gmail dot com

Exosomes are small vesicles that are secreted from many metazoan cells, and can convey selected proteins and RNAs to target cells to regulate many cell functions. However, the molecular mechanism of sorting RNA into exosomes is poorly understood. I will investigate how RNAs are specifically sorted into exosomes.

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Claudia Morales (lab assistant)
moralesacg at yahoo dot com

Armeen Mozaffari (undergrad)
armeenm at berkeley dot edu

CRISPR/Cas9 is a very powerful gene editing tool to treat human diseases. However, the current delivery systems by which CRISPR/Cas9 is taken into the cells are inefficient, immunogenic and/or toxic for the human body. Since exosomes are naturally both produced and taken up by cells, this is shown to be a promising delivery vehicle. I will investigate the efficacy of CRISPR/Cas9 uptake into the cell via exosome delivery. 

Jordan Ngo (rotation grad student) at berkeley dot edu

Upon the induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, cells activate a conserved signaling program known as the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) to restore cellular homeostasis. I will use novel biochemical approaches to investigate the effect of ER stress and UPR signaling on exosome cargo and secretion.

David Sanders (visiting professor)

Lu Song (post-doc)
lusong at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles that function in the transport of protein and RNA cargoes between cells. Exosomes could affect a range of important biologic processes, including cellular proliferation and differentiation. However, how exosomes play a role in the developmental events especially in the neural fate conversion remains unclear. I will explore the underlying mechanism of the package and delivery of exosome cargoes during neural differentiation.

Angela Sun (undergrad)
angelasun100 at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles that play an important role in intercellular communication. In the central nervous system, exosomes contribute to the progression of glioblastoma and neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, little is known about the secretion mechanisms of extracellular vesicles in neuronal cells. I will explore the underlying mechanisms of exosomal cargo secretion and packaging during neural differentiation. 

Morayma Temoche-Diaz (grad student)
morayma.temoche-diaz at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes export selectively packaged protein and RNA cargoes to the extracellular space. I am using novel biochemical approaches to investigate how cargoes are specifically sorted into distinct vesicle sub-populations. In the long-term, I am interested in understanding the role of exosome cargoes in normal and cancer cell biology.

Justin Williams (grad student)
justin_krish at berkeley dot edu

I am interested in understanding the mechanisms through which protein and RNA are selected and sorted into exosomes.

Shenjie Wu (post-doc)
wusj at berkeley dot edu

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. Alpha-synuclein, a presumably intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) implicated in PD pathogenesis, has been reported to be exported and mediate its cell toxicity via cell-to-cell transmission. However, the exact biochemical pathway and physiological implications of this phenomenon have not been fully understood. I intend to pursue the mechanism of alpha-synuclein secretion using various approaches.

Congyan Zhang (post-doc)
zhangcongyan at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are widely secreted by many cells. They can deliver protein and RNA cargos into extracellular space. However, how the protein-RNA cargos are sorted into exosomes is still unclear. Furthermore, exosomes can be used as a vehicle to deliver protein and RNA therapy due to the advantages of low immunogenicity and toxicity as well as high stability. I will explore the mechanism by which exosomal cargos are sorted and the application of exosome-delivered protein-RNA therapy. 

Former Lab Members

Other photos:

Banquet Challenge (2017)
Kayaking on Tomales Bay (2015)
Hooding of Pengcheng (2015)

Angel Island Hike (2014)
Schekman Symposium (2014)
Nobel Prize day (2013)

Regina's Graduation (2011)
CDB Retreat (2010)
Tilden Park (2010)
Devon's Farewell Lunch (2010)
Group Photo 2008
Group Photo 2006
Sea Ranch 2006

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