Mechanisms of protein translocation across membranes
Tom Rapoport (Harvard Medical School/HHMI)
In January, 1995 Tom Rapoport joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School, arriving from the Max-Delbr uck-Institute for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. He graduated with honors and earned his Ph.D. from Humboldt University in 1972. Immediately following this, Dr. Rapoport became an investigator of the Zentralinstitut f ur Molekularbiologie der Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, which later became the Max-Delbr uck-Institute. Since 1985, he has served as Professor of Cell Biology and group leader. In July of 1997 Tom was appointed as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Biological cells of higher organisms are complicated structures, containing a number of organelles that are separated from the cytosol by membranes. Each organelle has a characteristic shape and performs special functions that are carried out by different proteins. How do organelles achieve their different structures and receive specific sets of proteins? The answer to these questions is clearly important for an understanding of both how biological structures are generated and how they are propagated during cell division. The problem has relevance for the identification of the basis of diseases in which proteins are misdirected, misfolded, or degraded.
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