School of Medicine
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Postdoctoral Research fellow, Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Bio Following undergraduate research in chemical biology with Stuart Schreiber at Harvard, I did my graduate work at UCSF under the mentorship of Jonathan Weissman. At UCSF, I developed new technologies for quantitative, systematic genetic approaches in budding yeast. I then used functional genomics and biochemical approaches to define the role of Orm family proteins in a novel feedback pathway that matches cellular production of sphingolipids to metabolic demand.
My current focus as a post-doctoral fellow with Maxence Nachury is to understand the functions of the mammalian primary cilium. I first established an in vitro system for analysis of cilia in semi-permeabilized cells, using this approach to characterize a diffusion barrier that partitions the cilium from the cell body. More recently, I have developed and applied functional genomics approaches to dissect cilium-dependent signal transduction in the Hedgehog pathway. In particular, I have developed a CRISPR-based genome-scale screening platform for identification and functionally characterization of cellular factors needed cilium function and Hedgehog signaling.
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, of Photon Science and, by courtesy, of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests One of Axel Brunger's major goals is to decipher the molecular mechanisms of synaptic neurotransmitter release by conducting imaging and single-molecule/particle reconstitution experiments, combined with near-atomic resolution structural studies of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery.