Laura Lackner Associate Professor

Research Summary:

The Lackner lab is interested in the fundamental biological question of how spatial and dynamic organization within cells is achieved. As a model for intracellular organization, we study the mechanisms that position organelles. While once thought to operate independently, it is clear that organelles contact other organelles, and the positioning of organelles and the contacts they make play critical roles in a wide variety of cellular functions. The organelle that has been the primary focus of our research is the mitochondrion. Using a combination of cell biological, genetic, and biochemical approaches, we are addressing fundamental questions about the mechanisms used by cells to position mitochondria as well as form and regulate mitochondrial contacts.

Selected Publications:

White AJ, Harper CS, Rosario EM, Dietz JV, Addis HG, Fox JL, Khalimonchuk O, and Lackner L.L. (2022) Loss of Num1-mediated cortical dynein anchoring negatively impacts respiratory growth. Journal of Cell Science. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.259980

Anderson HL, Casler JC, and Lackner L.L. (2022) Hierarchical integration of mitochondrial and nuclear positioning pathways by the Num1 EF hand. MBoC. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E21-12-0610-T

Harper CS*, White AJ*, and Lackner L.L. (2020) The multifunctional nature of mitochondria contact site proteins. Curr Opin Cell Biol DOI: 10.1016/ *co-first authors, listed in alphabetical order

Abrisch RG, Gumbin SC, Wisniewski BT, Lackner L.L, and Voeltz GK. (2020) Fission and fusion machineries converge at ER contact sites to regulate mitochondrial morphology. JCB. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201911122.

Lackner L.L. (2019) The Expanding and Unexpected Functions of Mitochondria Contact Sites. Trends Cell Biol. DOI: 10.1016/j.tcb.2019.02.009.

Kraft LM and Lackner L.L. (2019) A conserved mechanism for mitochondria-dependent dynein anchoring. MBoC. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E18-07-0466.

Chen W, Ping HA, Lackner L.L. (2018) Direct membrane binding and self-interaction contribute to Mmr1 function in mitochondrial inheritance. MBoC. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E18-02-0122.

Kraft LM and Lackner L.L. (2017) Mitochondrial-driven assembly of a cortical anchor for mitochondria and dynein. JCB. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201702022.

Ping HA, Kraft LM, Chen W, Nilles AE, Lackner L.L. (2016) Num1 anchors mitochondria to the plasma membrane via two domains with different lipid binding specificities. JCB. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201511021.

Selected Honors:

2021                MAVEN Scientist, the MAVEN Institute for Scientific Leadership Development

2018                Keith R. Porter Fellow, awarded for exceptional contributions to cell biology and exciting prospects                         for future work

2018                Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award

2017                Scialog Fellow, Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement