Anne K. Kenworthy, Ph.D.

Anne K. Kenworthy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

718 Light Hall
(615) 322-6615


Studying membrane microdomains and intracellulartrafficking of Ras using quantitative fluorescence microscopy in living cells

Research Description

One of the major goals of my research program is to understand the role of membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts and caveolae in health and disease. We address this question using a combination of live cell imaging, cell biology, biophysics, and biochemical approaches. Current projects ongoing in the lab include:

1. How do proteins and lipid cooperate to build functional raft domains?

2. How do bacterial toxins exploit lipid rafts as a mechanism to enter host cells?

3. How do cholesterol and lipid rafts contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's disease?

4. How do mutations in caveolin-1 and defects in caveolae cause human diseases such as breast cancer and pulmonary arterial hypertension?

We are also interested in diffusion, a fundamental process that underlies all cellular functions. We are working in collaboration with biomathematicians to develop widely accessible methods to calibrate, measure and quantify protein and lipid diffusion in living cells. We are also applying these approaches to study novel protein complexes in the autophagy pathway, a housekeeping mechanism used by cells to maintain homeostasis in times of starvation and stress.

More information

Postdoctoral Positions Available

Postdoctoral positions are currently available for highly motivated individuals to carry out research in two areas:

1. Postdoctoral position currently available to study the role of bacterial toxins in stabilizing and manipulating membrane rafts and mechanisms responsible for toxin entry into host cells via clathrin-independent endocytosis. Experience with live cell imaging, membrane trafficking, and/or model membrane systems is a plus.

2. Postdoctoral position available to develop methods to measure kinetic rate constants in single cells using quantitative fluorescence microscopy and apply these methods to study protein complex formation and reaction-diffusion events at the cellular level. Experience in mathematical modeling and/or FRAP, FCS, and photoactivation approaches is a plus.

To apply, please email your CV and the contact information for 3 references to anne.kenworthy@vanderbilt.edu.