Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Mingxuan (Grayce) Yang L&S Biological Sciences

Characterization of ATG13/101 Structural Motifs in Autophagy

Autophagy is a crucial cellular mechanism that maintains homeostasis by forming an organelle known as an autophagosome. This double-membraned structure, originating from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), encapsulates and degrades cellular components, facilitating cellular survival under stress conditions such as organelle dysfunction and protein aggregation. Impairments in this process are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.This project aims to explore the role of the ATG13/101 subcomplex in initiating autophagy, with a particular focus on its membrane-binding function, which is critical for autophagosome formation.Through detailed analysis, we seek to understand how the ATG13/101 complex interacts with cellular membranes to trigger autophagosome nucleation. By elucidating these mechanisms, my research project aim to pave the way for novel interventions in the management of neurodegenerative diseases, leveraging the natural cellular process of autophagy to mitigate disease progression.

Message To Sponsor

I am deeply grateful for your generous support of my research project focused on the ATG13/101 protein complex and its role in autophagy. Your contribution is invaluable and allows us to deepen our understanding of this crucial cellular process. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to advance our knowledge in the field of structural biology. This work also has significant implications for biomedical research, particularly in combating neurodegenerative diseases.
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology and Statistics
Mentor: James Hurley
Sponsor: Shin Morgan Fund
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