Michael Cianfrocco

Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry
Research Assistant Professor, Life Sciences Institute

Ph.D. Biophysics, University of California - Berkeley
B.S. Biochemistry, Providence College

Research Focus: Structural biology of microtubule motor protein - cargo complexes

Phone: 734.647.2195
E-mail: mcianfro@umich.edu

The Cianfrocco laboratory studies the atomic details that underlie the recognition and transport of intracellular cargos by motor proteins, and how these processes can be disrupted in neurodegenerative disease. In particular, we focus on the regulation and specificity of scaffolding proteins that serve as platforms to connect microtubule-based motors to intracellular cargos. As critical cellular regulators, scaffolds must interact with diverse cargos (e.g. vesicles, viruses, nuclei) while also coordinating the activity of the opposing microtubule-based motors dynein and kinesin. To understand these activities, we will employ a combination of high-resolution cryo-EM structural studies alongside reconstituted in vitro single-molecule experiments to understand the molecular rules governing cargo/motor specificity and directional movement along microtubule tracks.

Cianfrocco Research Group