Every cell in your body has to coordinate thousands of different tasks each second. Cells manage all those tasks with a complex transportation system that moves materials and information to where they are needed. This trafﬁc can get disrupted and persistent disruptions can cause disease.
“Every part of the cell has a special function, if things aren’t in the right place they can’t do their job,” explains Dr. Conibear.
Dr. Conibear studies the molecular machinery of our cellular transportation system and the trafﬁc jams that cause disease. Her lab focuses on lipid and protein signaling pathways involved in neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and lysosomal storage diseases that affect childhood development.
Many molecular pathways that are linked to disease in humans are also found in simpler organisms, like yeast. The Conibear lab studies molecular pathways in yeast in order to gain more control over the biological processes involved, since yeast are much easier to work with than humans or mice. In combination with genomic technologies, yeast is a powerful tool for discovery.
“My work uses a lot of genome-wide technologies to uncover pathways and machinery on a very large scale. It’s incredibly efﬁcient and we can get to knowledge really fast.”