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Tomas Kirchhausen

Tomas Kirchhausen
Springer Family Chair (BCH)
Senior Investigator, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (BCH)
Professor of Cell Biology
Professor of Pediatrics

The Kirchhausen Lab focuses on understanding processes that mediate and regulate cellular membrane remodeling, the biogenesis of organelles, and the ways by which viruses, biologicals and oligonucleotides are delivered to the cell interior. 

By direct observation of molecular events obtained using Lattice Light Sheet Microscopy and Lattice Light Sheet Microscopy optimized with Adaptive Optics (AO-LLSM), frontier optical-imaging modalities with high temporal resolution and spatial precision, we aim to bridge the gap between molecules and cells, either as independent entities in culture, as components of organoids, or as constituents of living tissues. The richness and magnitude of the big-data obtained over periods ranging from seconds to hours create new challenges for obtaining quantitative representations of the observed dynamics and for deriving accurate and comprehensive models for the underlying developmental mechanisms. With these type of dynamic studies we expect to integrate molecular snapshots obtained at molecular and atomic resolution using cryoEM with live-cell processes, in an effort to generate ‘molecular movies' allowing us to obtain frameworks for analyzing some of the molecular contacts and switches that participate in the regulation, availability, and intracellular traffic of the many molecules involved in signal transduction, immune responsiveness, lipid homeostasis, cell-cell recognition and organelle biogenesis. Such biological phenomena have importance for our understanding of many diseases including cancer, viral infection and pathogen invasion, Alzheimer's, as well as other neurological diseases.

Adrian Salic

Adrian Salic
Professor of Cell Biology

Adrian Salic, Ph.D. was appointed Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in 2005, after completing his postdoctoral research in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 2000. His development of novel tools to detect DNA and RNA synthesis resulted in the creation of the commerically-available "Click-iT" EdU and EU kits that are now widely used by labs around the world.

The Salic lab studies biochemical and cellular mechanisms involved in signal transduction through the Hedgehog signaling pathway. We also develop and apply new chemical technologies to study the cell biology of lipids.

Randall King

Harry C. McKenzie Professor of Cell Biology

Randy King, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed to the faculty in 2000, after three years as the first Institute Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry of Cell Biology at Harvard. He received his undergraduate degree from Carleton College, followed by a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCSF, where he co-discovered the Anaphase-Promoting complex/Cyclosome (APC), and M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He was named the Harry C. McKenzie Professor of Cell Biology in 2013 and has received numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to medical education.

The King lab integrates chemical and cell biological approaches to study cell division and chromosome segregation.

Robert V. Farese, Jr.

Bob Farese
Chair & Professor of Molecular Metabolism (Harvard T.H. Chan SPH)
Professor of Cell Biology

Robert Farese, Jr., M.D., is Chair and Professor of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, where he runs a laboratory jointly since 2014 with Dr. Tobias Walther. Dr. Farese obtained his M.D. from Vanderbilt University, did medical training at the University of Colorado, and his postdoctoral research training at UCSF and the Gladstone Institutes. Dr. Farese was an investigator at Gladstone/UCSF from 1994-2014, where his laboratory focused on lipid and energy metabolism, in particular elucidating the biochemical and cell biological pathways of neutral lipid and triglyceride synthesis and storage. Since 2007, Dr. Farese also works in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on investigating lipid metabolism in the central nervous system. He serves on the board of the Bluefield Project to Cure FTD.

The Farese & Walther Lab investigates cellular lipid and energy metabolism, in particular the mechanisms and physiology of neutral lipid synthesis and storage in lipid droplets. More broadly the lab studies the mechanisms how cells regulate the abundance of lipids, how they store lipids to buffer fluctuation in their availability, and how these processes function in membrane biology and cell physiology.

Edward Chouchani

Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology (DFCI)
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology

Edward Chouchani, Ph.D., joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in 2017. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge and MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit. He then performed postdoctoral research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Research in the Chouchani Lab focuses on deciphering molecular mechanisms that drive metabolic disease, and using this information to develop targeted therapeutic strategies.  Mitochondria are critical hubs for metabolic signaling, and their dysfunction is key in the pathology of metabolic disease.  The Chouchani Lab combines mass spectrometry and targeted pharmacological approaches in vivo to understand how mitochondrial redox metabolism controls physiology in clinically informative mouse models of obesity and diabetes.

Tobias Walther

Tobias Walther, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Metabolism (Harvard T.H. Chan SPH)
Professor of Cell Biology
HHMI Investigator

Tobi Walther, Ph.D., received his PhD in biology from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, and trained as a postdoc in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. He became a Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. In 2010, he relocated his lab and became Associate Professor of Cell Biology at the Yale School of Medicine. In 2014, Dr. Walther joined the Harvard Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, and studies the mechanisms of lipid and membrane homeostasis in cells and organisms with his scientific partner, Bob Farese Jr.

The Farese & Walther laboratory determines the mechanisms how cells regulate the abundance of lipids, how they store lipids to buffer fluctuation in their availability and how these processes function in membrane biology and cell physiology.

Junying Yuan

Junying Yuan
Elizabeth D. Hay Professor of Cell Biology

Junying Yuan received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University in 1989 and her undergraduate degree from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 1982. She carried out her Ph.D research at MIT, and was appointed as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in 1992, when she became a Principal Investigator of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the Department of Cell Biology in 1996 and has been the Elizabeth D. Hay Professor of Cell Biology at HMS since 2014. She was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2017.

The research in Yuan lab is aimed at elucidation of the molecular mechanisms regulating cell death under physiological and pathological conditions.

Stephen Liberles

Professor of Cell Biology
Member: Harvard Program in Neuroscience
HHMI Investigator

Stephen Liberles, Ph.D. is a Professor and HHMI Investigator in the Cell Biology Department at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liberles received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Harvard in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Harvard in 1999, working in the lab of Stuart Schreiber. He then performed post-doctoral work in the lab of Linda Buck, first at Harvard Medical School and then at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The Liberles Lab focuses on the molecular neuroscience of sensory systems, including olfaction, pheromone sensing, taste, and internal organ senses of the vagus nerve. Some discoveries from his lab include characterizing non-classical families of olfactory receptors, odors and pheromones that stimulate innate behaviors, vagus nerve cell types that selectively control autonomic physiology, and mechanisms underlying sensation within internal organs, including airway stretch and changes in aortic blood pressure.

Malcolm Whitman

M. Whitman
Professor of Developmental Biology (HSDM)
Affiliate member of Cell Biology

Malcolm Whitman, Ph.D., received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1985 while working on phosphatidylinositol kinases with Lew Cantley. After his postdoctoral studies with Doug Melton studying signaling in embryogenesis, also at Harvard, he joined the Cell Biology faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1992. In 2007, he became a Professor of Developmental Biology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

The Whitman lab is interested in how signals are transduced into highly specific biological responses during embryogenesis, during physiological responses of an organism to stress or damage,  and  during the development of various disease pathologies.

Pere Puigserver

Professor of Cancer Biology (DFCI)
Professor of Cell Biology

Pere Puigserver, Ph.D. is Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from UIB (Spain) that included research at Stockholm University, following postdoctoral work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He joined the faculty of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2002 and subsequently returned in 2006 to the Department of Cell Biology (Harvard Medical School) and Cancer Biology (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute).

The Puigserver Lab focuses on the regulatory molecular mechanisms of core metabolic processes that maintain cell homeostasis and phenotypes. The research program of the Puigserver Lab includes main areas such as 1) mitochondrial biology, 2) intermediary metabolism and, 3) cancer metabolism and energetics. In mitochondrial biology, particular interests are in the regulatory mechanisms that control mitochondrial energetics and biogenesis, with implications in a variety of diseases including metabolic and mitochondrial diseases. In intermediary metabolism, a major focus is in liver and adipose cells and their regulatory mechanisms that control nutrient-derived metabolic and energetic activities. In cancer metabolism and energetics, the Puigserver Lab addresses how these processes drive core cancer biology programs such as cell growth, survival and resistance mechanisms.  The Puigserver Lab uses a multidisciplinary experimental design and approaches including chemical and genetic screens in mammalian cells, quantitative metabolomics and proteomics, biochemistry, mouse pre-clinical models of obesity/diabetes, mitochondrial diseases and cancer.    

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