Keith Mostov, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Anatomy and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco. The Mostov laboratory has been at the forefront of research into epithelial cell polarity and polarized membrane traffic for several decades. Their work applies innovative morphological, biochemical and molecular approaches to the understanding of how renal epithelial cells polarize and form 3-D structures, such as cysts and tubules. With funding from the NIH, the Mostov laboratory is currently analyzing the roles of phosphatidyl inositides in epithelial apical-basolateral polarity. In another study, they are testing the role of the B-Raf pathway in tubulogenesis; the role of Rac, ROCK and lipid rafts in tubulogenesis, and that of P13K in extension formation. Recently, they have developed a novel system to study recovery from acute kidney injury, which provides a 3-D cell culture model of healing. It is expected that this will enable sophisticated understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this process, and ultimately, permit development of new drugs and therapies for this disease.
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Ph.D.
is Chief of the Section on Organelle Biology in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health. The Lippincott-Schwartz laboratory uses live cell imaging approaches to analyze the spatio-temporal behavior and dynamic interactions of molecules and organelles in cells. Her group has pioneered the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) technology for quantitative analysis and modeling of intracellular protein traffic and organelle biogenesis in live cells and embryos, providing novel insights into cell compartmentalization, protein trafficking and organelle inheritance. Most recently, her research has focused on the development and use of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins, which “switch on” in response to light. One application of these proteins that she has put to use is photoactivated localization microscopy, (i.e., PALM), a superresolution imaging technique that enables visualization of molecule distributions at high density at the nano-scale.