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Lab Members/Photos

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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.




Bob Lesch (lab manager)
lesch at berkeley dot edu


Emily Lin (undergrad)
emily.lin at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are extracellular membrane vesicles that secrete various types of nucleic acids, such as mRNA, miRNA, and YRNA, into extracellular space. I am investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the sorting and secretion of RNA molecules to target cells.


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.

David Melville (post-doc)
afroginawell at gmail dot com

Sar1, one of the five core COPII components, is a highly conserved small GTPase. Mammals have two paralogs of Sar1, SAR1A and SAR1B, which share 90% sequence identity. Despite their high similarity, it has been found that mutations in SAR1B, but not SAR1A, are associated with Chylomicron retention disease in humans. I am using a lipid secreting rat cell line to illuminate the paralog specific functions of Sar1 and the relationship between Sar1 and the COPII outer coat.

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Claudia Morales (lab assistant)
moralesacg at yahoo dot com

Arpita Singhal (undergrad)
arpitasinghal at berkeley dot edu

Causing a stir in the scientific community, exosomes - a type of extracellular vesicle - still remain elusive in nature. Basic biochemical evidence is still needed to understand the key aspects of EV biology.  One of the main functions of EVs is to transfer functional cargo that may alter the status of recipient cells. EVs may also play a strong role in cancer therapeutics. Thus, it is necessary to understand the mechanism through which EVs operate. My research goal is to better understand EV biology, by exploring the interactions between EVs and other cells. By developing and studying interactions between EVs and recipient cell surfaces, I aim to find pathways that can help deliver specific exosomally-packaged material to target cells.


Dan Sirkis (post-doc)
dan dot sirkis at gmail dot com

Several membrane and secreted proteins have been implicated in neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. Much of the work on these proteins has focused on how they mediate toxicity, but little is known about the mechanisms controlling their export from the Golgi apparatus. I am using cell biological methods and biochemical reconstitution to understand how such proteins are transported from the Golgi to downstream destinations.

Lu Song (visiting scholar)
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.


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.


Sharon Tian (undergrad)
txr97 at berkeley dot edu

I'm investigating the role of autophagy-related protein 8 (Atg8) homologues in autophagosome biogenesis.




Åsa Wheelock (visiting professor)
asa.wheelock at gmail dot com

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represent a spectrum of disorders currently lumped together under a single umbrella due to similar clinical characteristics, when in reality it is derived from a range of different molecular mechanisms. Through our systems medicine efforts involving molecular profiling at several molecular levels (mRNA, miRNA, proteomes and metabolomes) from several anatomical locations in the lung (exosomes, airway epithelium, immune cells), we have identified a gender-driven dysregulation of the phagocytotic/lysosomal/exosomal axis in COPD. Our investigations of the exosomal compartment from airway exudates demonstrates a gender-specific alteration in the exosomal miRNA content in COPD patients, which correlates with the severity of disease (FEV1). This project aims to investigate gender-related dysregulation of the protein machinery required for sorting of miRNA into exosomes in COPD.




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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