Since their inception in 2017, the Bhabha and Ekiert Labs have joined forces and function as a single group, with many close collaborations between lab members, as well as joint group meetings, lab retreats and outings. Lab members belong to both labs, and we share projects, equipment, reagents and ideas. We combine interests in infectious disease, host-pathogen interactions, cell motility, and macromolecular structure and dynamics to tackle a variety of biological problems at resolutions ranging from atoms to cells.
BHABHA LAB RESEARCH
From atoms to cells to organisms, life is in constant motion. All cells face the challenge of transporting molecules from one location to another within the cell, and this is essential for the cell to function normally. Proteins that are responsible for proper transport range from simple globular proteins to large multi-protein complexes. We use a hybrid approach to study the structural mechanisms of how macromolecular protein machines are so spectacularly coordinated in normal cells, and what goes wrong when they break.
EKIERT LAB RESEARCH
Structural biology is a powerful tool for understanding how microbes interact with host factors to promote infection, and how complex macromolecular machines drive processes important for pathogen replication and host invasion. Using a range of techniques, from X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron microscopy (cryo EM) through microbial genetics and biochemistry, we are unraveling the inner workings of the bacterial outer membrane and the complex, harpoon-like invasion machinery of a large family of eukaryotic intracellular pathogens.