JOMAA LAB

Department of Molecular Physiology

and Biological Physics

at the University of Virginia

The lab is located at the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics. We are a member group at the Center for Membrane and Cell Physiology.

Our group is interested in understanding how newly-made proteins localize to sub-cellular compartments in health and disease.

 

To this end, our aim is to determine the structural and functional basis of the protein targeting machinery in the cargo recognition and delivery mode to the membranes of these compartments.

We use a combination of integrative research approaches including molecular and structural biology, biochemical, and biophysical techniques with main focus on single particle cryo-electron microscopy.

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RESEARCH PROJECTS

Our Current Focus

CRYO-ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

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BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

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Eukaryotic cells use membrane-enclosed compartments with distinct functions to boost efficiency and flow of information within the crowded cellular environment. These compartments contain specialized proteins that are first made in the cytosol and then imported across the respective membrane; some of which are further processed and secreted outside cell, such as digestive enzymes and hormones.

To ensure survival, protein localization has to happen with high fidelity and minimal errors. In humans, defects in this process leads to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, and are also linked to the onset of cancer, as well as metabolic diseases such as diabetes.