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Principle Investigators of Fluorescent Proteins

Many of the scientists involved with research targeting various aspects of cell biology are using fluorescent proteins as imaging probes for cell structure, function, and dynamics. Several of the principle investigators have built extensive websites detailing their laboratories, and these sites are quite useful to visitors interested in learning more about this exciting and rapidly evolving research arena. Included in the information on a majority of the websites linked below are the current research interests, curriculum vitas, publications, lists of laboratory personnel, contact information, educational tutorials, image galleries, and digital videos.

Phillipe I.H. Bastiaens - Based at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, the objective of the Bastiaens group is to understand the reaction-diffusion properties of protein networks that generate spatial patterns of states in cells and how these regulate cellular signal transduction and morphogenesis. By developing techniques for optical microscopy approaches such as FRET, protein interactions and conformations can be mapped with submicron resolution. The website includes information on current and previous research, members, publications, and collaborations.

Robert E. Campbell - Dr. Campbell uses the term "molecular biophotonic toolkit" to describe his long-term goals at the University of Alberta in Edmonton to create new chromophore-containing molecules and technology to address problems relating to cell biology with a particular emphasis on live cell applications. The group's website includes research overviews, publication lists, laboratory contacts, and links and resources relating to molecular biophotonics.

Martin Chalfie - Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate aspects of nerve cell development and function, the Chalfie laboratory at Columbia University has focused on the study of a set of six neurons that are the sensory receptors for gentle touch. Additionally, the laboratory has engaged in work on neuronal degeneration, microtubule structure and function, channel structure and function, and, most recently, synapse specification and aging. Facilitating these studies is the development of new experimental methods such as green fluorescent protein as a gene and protein marker and a novel method to generate subtractive cDNA libraries. The website includes research interests, a list of representative publications, and contact information.

Richard N. Day - The Day laboratory has developed techniques utilizing FRET microscopy to visualize both homodimerization involving Pit-1, a pituitary specific transcription factor, and heterodimerization between Pit-1 and its splice variants within the nucleus of the living cell. The overall goal of the research is to define the relationships between the intimate interactions of these pituitary specific transcription factors within the nucleus and the cell-type specific regulation of prolactin and growth hormone gene expression. The laboratory website contains information about publications, current research, available positions, and lab resources.

Jan Ellenberg - The overall aim of the Ellenberg group is to elucidate the mechanisms underlying mitotic nuclear remodeling in intact cells using quantitative confocal microscopy and fluorescent tags to directly observe key proteins of these dynamic processes in real time and in live cells. The group website at EMBL-Heidelberg contains research information on a variety of projects, a publications list, movies, still images, protocols, and contact information for laboratory members.

Oliver Griesbeck - As a division of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology at Martinsreid, the Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics seeks to increase understanding of the dynamics of biochemical and physiological signals that neurons use to process information either within individual neurons or within neural networks. Their approach involves the design of genetically encoded fluorescent indicators that report the concentration of important cellular signaling molecules or activation of biochemical signaling cascades. The website includes current research projects, contact information for laboratory members, and a publications list.

Robert M. Hoffman - Through his biotechnology corporation entitled AntiCancer Incorporated, Dr. Hoffman is a leading investigator in the development of small animal models for metastasis using fluorescent protein technologies. Recently, AntiCancer has partnered with Olympus to enable and develop multicolor whole-body macro-imaging and intravital cellular and subcellular imaging of cancer and other processes in live animals.

Chang-Deng Hu - To study the regulation of transcription factor interactions by cell signaling in living cells, Dr. Hu and his group at Perdue University have recently developed a novel bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay and have further established a multicolor version of the assay. The faculty profile describes the laboratory research interests and lists selected publications.

Tom Kerppola - A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kerppola and his laboratory have developed a method for observing protein interactions known as bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). The laboratory website contains descriptions of laboratory research interests, images and protocols relating to BiFC and gelFRET, and additional information on the research interests of the group.

Anne K. Kenworthy - Having developed protocols for various quantitative fluorescence microscopy techniques such as FRET and FRAP, Dr. Kenworthy is currently studying membrane microdomains and the cell biology of the small GTPase Ras in living cells at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The faculty profile contains contact information, research interests, and a publications list.

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz - Headquartered in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch of the NIH, the Lippincott-Schwartz laboratory investigates the global principles underlying secretory membrane trafficking, sorting, and compartmentalization within eukaryotic cells. Live cell imaging of GFP fusion proteins in combination with photobleaching and photoactivation techniques are being used to investigate the subcellular localization, mobility, transport routes and binding interactions of a variety of proteins with important roles. Included on the website are a publications list, current projects, and contact information for laboratory members.

Sergey A. Lukyanov - Concurrent to projects including the investigation of duplex-specific nuclease, the development of the mammalian cerebral cortex, and planarian regeneration, the Laboratory of Genes for Regeneration at the Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in Moscow is actively pursuing the identification, analysis, and application of novel GFP-like proteins. Work with non-bioluminescent Anthozoa reef coral species has resulted in the discovery and structural elucidation of new and useful Anthozoa fluorescent proteins as well as protein improvement for in vivo and in vitro labeling applications. The website includes details concerning research projects, listings of publications, and information about laboratory investigators.

Mikhail V. Matz - Located at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, Florida, the Matz group's main focus of research is the family of multi-colored fluorescent proteins homologous to the green fluorescent protein from jellyfish Aequorea victoria. Current projects include the evolution of reef color diversity, the molecular evolution of biological complexity, and the development of GFP-like fluorescent proteins as biotechnology tools. The website includes current research, a list of selected publications, protocols, and information about laboratory members and research support.

Maria E. Michel-Beyerle - Dr. Michel-Beyerle's laboratory at the Technical University of Munich uses time resolved laser spectroscopy to study photoinduced excited state dynamics of chromophore-protein systems in biology. The website includes research activities, group member and collaborator information, and a publications list.

Atsushi Miyawaki - As director of the Laboratory for Cell Function Dynamics, a division of the Brain Science Institute at the Wako Institute of RIKEN in Japan, Dr. Miyawaki and his colleagues are devoted to the advancement of fluorescent protein techniques. Using a wide variety of approaches, such as circularly permuted GFP and applications of FRET, the research group has created calcium-sensitive proteins for local and physiological calcium ion imaging and new fluorescent probes for the visualization of signal transduction cascades. Furthermore, the laboratory is developing new and unique optical techniques by which fluorescence signals can be efficiently detected. Included on the website are current research areas and a list of selected publications.

Takeaki Ozawa - Housed in the Institute for Molecular Science in Myodaiji, Japan, the Ozawa laboratory explores the development of fluorescent and bioluminescent reporters based on protein splicing to probe fundamental cellular events in living cells and animals. The website, available in Japanese and English, provides information on current research and a list of peer-reviewed articles since 2000.

Ammasi Periasamy - Having created and being the current director of the W.M. Keck Center for Cellular Imaging at the University of Virginia, Dr. Periasamy's research is focused on the use of advanced light microscopy techniques to study and monitor various biological and clinical systems ranging from single cells to single molecules in living cells and tissues. The faculty profile contains contact information, research interests, a selected publications list, and a link to the expansive Center for Cellular Imaging website.

David W. Piston - While serving as director of the Free-Electron Laser Center at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Piston's research focuses on molecular events involved in glucose metabolism and insulin secretion in beta cells within intact functioning pancreatic islets. These investigations are facilitated by the development of unique, state-of-the-art fluorescence imaging methods to assay the response at various points along the glucose transduction pathway. The website includes contact information and a publications list.

S. James Remington - Associated with the Macromolecular Crystallography group at the University of Oregon, the Remington laboratory investigates the structure and function of several enzyme systems and fluorescent proteins, primarily through the application of x-ray crystallography techniques. Having proposed a structure for GFP in 1996, the group has now embarked on a large project to generate various biosensors and has successfully constructed visual pH indicators, halide concentration indicators and redox potential sensors. The website includes research descriptions, a publication list, and group member information.

Anya Salih - Dr. Salih's main research interest at the University of Syndey is in cellular biology and photophysiology of reef coral-algal symbiosis including GFP-like pigments of reef corals, their light regulatory functions, and applications in imaging. The website includes a faculty biography and selected publications available for download.

Alice Y. Ting - Investigating chemical and biophysical approaches to the study of cell signaling, the Ting lab emphases the development of new methodology for studying the biochemistry of living cells, and the application of this methodology to the study of synapse formation and remodeling. The research effort utilizes a wide range of chemical and biological methods, including organic synthesis, protein and RNA engineering, and fluorescence imaging of living cells. The website contains information about research, publications, laboratory personnel, and plasmids.

Roger Y. Tsien - Based at the University of California in San Diego, the Tsien laboratory website contains an extensive publication listing, digital videos, and still images relating to fluorescent proteins. In addition, the site contains a current and historical catalog of students, collaborators, and post-docs, and an on-line legal agreement for transfer of fluorescent protein vectors.

Yoshio Umezawa - The aim of the Umezawa laboratory at the University of Tokyo is to develop new analytical methods for molecular sensing based on molecular biochemistry and interfacial molecular recognition chemistry of in vivo events in live cells, most recently through fluorescent protein splicing. Included in the website are research interests and lists of publications and laboratory members.

Rebekka Wachter - The Wachter laboratory at Arizona State University seeks the elucidation of protein structure-function relationships and the development of novel biosensors for applications in biotechnology using, among other techniques, macromolecular x-ray crystallography. The faculty profile includes research interests and a selected publications list.

Jing W. Wang - Utilizing an imaging system that couples two-photon microscopy with the specific expression of the calcium-sensitive fluorescent protein G-CaMP, the Wang group at the University of California in San Diego is investigating how olfactory information is represented and processed in the Drosophila central nervous system. The faculty profile provides research project information and a selected publications list.

Jörg Wiedenmann - Current projects in the Wiedenmann laboratory include a search for novel fluorescent proteins with improved properties, engineering of fluorescent marker proteins, such as optical highlighters, and investigation into the biological function of fluorescent proteins. Dr. Wiedenmann's website at University Ulm includes research information, publication listings, group member and collaborator records, and a fluorescent coral image gallery.

Manuela Zaccolo - The Zaccolo group at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine seeks to elucidate the spatio-temporal dynamics of the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway in vivo and to understand how deregulation of local control can lead to pathological conditions. Using an approach based on FRET techniques and genetically encoded sensors for cAMP, real-time monitoring of cAMP in live cells can take place with very high spatial and temporal resolution. The website contains research projects and selected publications.

Jin Zhang - Currently at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Zhang's research includes the development of fluorescent imaging probes to be applied to the study of dynamic modulation and compartmentalization of kinase activities in the context of the molecular mechanisms regulating cell polarity in cell migration and chemotaxis. The faculty profile includes current projects and selected publications.

Marc Zimmer - Dr. Zimmer and his group at Connecticut College are primarily interested in the structural and photophysical properties of GFP and DsRed. The website includes information about laboratory research, students, and Dr. Zimmer's recent book about fluorescent and bioluminescent proteins.

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