A team of biochemists led by Caltech's André Hoelz has solved the architecture of the nuclear pore complex's complicated inner ring, a subcomplex that is central to the cellular machine's ability to serve as a barrier and transport facilitator. In the process, they disproved many previously held ideas about how the inner ring works.
Professor of Biochemistry Bil Clemons is focused on working out the structures of and biological processes associated with membrane proteins—assemblies of protein molecules that act as transport channels through the greasy lipid membrane that encapsulates a cell.
This summer, several undergraduate students at Caltech had the opportunity to help optimize a promising technique that can make tissues and organs—even entire organisms—transparent for study. As part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, these students worked in the lab of Viviana Gradinaru, where researchers are developing such so-called clearing techniques that make it possible to peer straight through normally opaque tissues rather than seeing them only as thinly sectioned slices that have been pieced back together.
Researchers around the country are adopting a technique developed in the Caltech lab of Nobel Laureate David Baltimore to try to guard against infection. The method, called VIP, was originally designed to trigger an immune response to HIV.
We recently spoke to David Anderson, Caltech's Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology, about this work, his goals, and how the interdisciplinary collaborations he is building at Caltech are helping to spur a revolution in neuroscience.