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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.


Stephanie Canon (admin coordinator)
stephaniecanon at berkeley dot edu

Jean Patrick Gonzalez Dahua (visiting student researcher)
patrickg484 at gmail dot com

Exosomes are one specific type of extracellular vesicle which contain selectively packaged protein and RNA and can regulate different cell functions. I am interested in studying how RNA binding proteins are targeted for sorting in the membrane of multivesicular bodies. 

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

Bethany Lin (undergrad)
yblin at berkeley dot edu

Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles that function in transporting protein and RNA between cells. They facilitate intracellular signaling and regulate development, yet the underlying mechanisms of these processes remain mysterious. I aim to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of exosomes in neural differentiation.

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

Marta Palomo (visiting student researcher)
mpalomo at cicbiogune dot es

Schwann cells, the glial cells of the peripheral nervous system, form myelin sheaths around large diameter axons which is essential for rapid saltatory conduction of nerve impulses. This myelin breaks down due to several genetic or acquired diseases, toxicity or microbial infections. Exosomes have been shown to play a key role in nerve regeneration. Thereby, I aim to analyze the role of extracelular vesicles and explore exosomes’ therapeutic potential after bacteria-induced demyelination.

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.

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.

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.

Justin Williams (rotation 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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