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We study the importance of spatial organization of regulatory protein/RNA complexes within the cytoplasm.  Our model organism is the nematode, C. elegans.  C. elegans reproduction is sustained by germ cells that give rise to eggs and sperm.  Our lab investigates how the germ cell RNA regulatory machinery is organized in cytoplasmic organelles called P granules (or germ granules).  The strategy of assembling important regulators of RNA metabolism in cytoplasmic foci is conserved across species, and we anticipate that our findings will shed light on the functions of conserved regulators in development and disease.

C. elegans germ cell nuclei (cyan) are surrounded by germ granules (red).

C. elegans germ cell nuclei (cyan) are surrounded by germ granules (red).

Recent Lab News

4/4/16 - Paper - A Preview article published in Developmental Cell discusses a novel and exciting role of small RNAs in Drosophila patterining. Follow this link for free access (until May 24, 2016): mRNAs hit a sticky wicket

3/30/16 - Award - Mary Ellenbecker received University of Montana Small Grant Award from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Congrats, Mary! 

12/12/15 - ASCB meeting - RNA granule assembly and cellular functions were discussed and the annual meeting of the Society for Cell Biology in San Diego, CA.

10/21/15 - Award - Preston Novak just got selected as a QuestBridge scholarship finalist. Congrats, Preston!

9/12/15 - CBSD Symposium - Mary Ellenbecker, Jenessa Olson, and Xiaobo Wang presented their research at the 2015 research symposium of the Center of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics. Mary and Xiaobo were chosen to present highlights of their projects in the oral presentation session.

6/9/15 - Award - Xiaobo Wang just received a Summer Graduate Fellowship Award from the Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics for Summer 2016