Kevin L. Kirk
Regulation of Polarized Membrane Traffic in Epithelial and Neuroendocrine Cells
Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which epithelial and neuroendocrine cells regulate the polarized delivery of membrane proteins to the appropriate cell surface domains (e.g., synaptic proteins to the nerve terminal). We study the regulation of polarized membrane traffic using the techniques of molecular genetics, cell biology, and digital imaging microscopy. Current projects include: (1) the role of the cystic fibrosis gene product (CFTR) in controlling ion transport and apical membrane traffic in epithelial cells and (2) the regulation of protein targeting and cell polarization by ras-related monomeric GTPases.