Principal Investigator Statement

Jesse C. Hay

Jesse C. Hay

University of Montana
Division of Biological Sciences
32 Campus Drive, SB 390A
Missoula, Montana 59812-4824

Hay Office Phone: 406-243-2381
DBS Office Fax: 406-243-4184
Hay email: jesse.hay@umontana.edu


Nearly every aspect of cell function and avoidance of disease depends upon the delivery of cellular products to their proper intracellular locations. Membrane-bound organelles receive their proteins, lipids and other constituents through inter-organelle exchanges mediated by ~50 nanometer spherical transport vesicles that bud from the donor compartment and are properly targeted to, and fuse with, an acceptor compartment. Transport vesicles contain special membrane proteins, called SNAREs, that are hypothesized to allow vesicles to dock and fuse at the appropriate acceptor membrane. Other proteins such as rabs, SM proteins, membrane tethers and vesicle coats work with SNAREs to ensure accurate vesicle creation, cargo selection, delivery, and fusion. It is hard to imagine proteins more central to the organization and differentiation of intracellular membranes.  Defects in these processes underlie many diseases, underscoring the need to understand their molecular pathways.  Dr. Hay's laboratory is trying to understand the molecular mechanism of action, regulation, and protein interactions involved in vesicle trafficking, using mammalian endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi transport events as a model system. A wide variety of techniques are employed in this laboratory, including in vitro reconstitutions of transport processes in permeabilized cells, light and electron microscopy, and in vitro biochemistry.

Dr. Hay received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University until 1998 and then a faculty member at the University of Michigan until 2004. He joined the faculty of the University of Montana in December, 2004.

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