Research Initiation Award: Spatial organization and temporal coordination involved in secretory vesicle trafficking and exocytosis in live cells
Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty member's research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at the home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to Howard University aims to reveal how spatiotemporal information is integrated and used by cells to affect signaling pathways promoting expulsion of substances from cells (exocytosis) and will enable researchers to better understand how exocytosis allows cells to communicate with other cells, tissues, and the extracellular space.
Exocytosis is a fundamental cellular behavior that is ubiquitous across eukaryotes and other cell types. The goal of this study is to provide a better understanding of how proteins, lipids, and the actin cytoskeleton network act as organizing "elements" regulating exocytosis. Fluorescence microscopy will be utilized to establish an understanding of the spatial and temporal requirements governing the biophysical principles that organize cell membranes and influence biological processes like regulated exocytosis.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.