Cell Biology/Protein Biochemistry of Intracellular Processes

A strong and diverse group of researchers at Yale study various aspects of cell biology.

Mark Hochstrasser (MB&B) studies at a mechanistic and molecular level how specific proteins are rapidly degraded within eukaryotic cells. Such turnover is central to a great variety of regulatory mechanisms, including many of medical relevance. Much of this regulated degradation occurs via the highly conserved ubiquitin-proteasome system.

Ben Turk (Pharmacology) is interested in protein phophorylation and regulation and focuses on how SH2 domains recognize distinct phosphotyrosine containing peptides.

Elsa Yan (Chemistry) studies G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs belong to the largest gene family in the human genome. They are important drug targets. The Yan group develop methods of using Nanodiscs to purify GPCRs in lipid membrane environments and using unnatural amino acid mutagenesis to label GPCRs with spectroscopic probes. These methods enable molecular studies of GPCRs with biophysical spectroscopy. These studies reveal the activation mechanism of GPCRs, providing insight into rational drug design targeting GPCRs.