Joelle Labastide, a postdoctoral fellow in physics, has been awarded $138,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship to examine the dynamics of “cargo transport,” the act of carrying organelles, proteins and other material around inside the cell.
She seeks to uncover how kinesin-1 motor proteins can get around and through the crowded and complex architecture of the cell interior. She will perform the work in the lab of physics professor Jennifer Ross.
Labastide proposes to use her training in the physical chemistry of solid state and polymeric materials and novel super-resolution microscopy in the research.
As part of the two-year grant, Labastide will build a novel polarization microscope to track the 3D location and orientation of solid-state artificial “cargos” being transported in a manmade cytoskeletal network.
Labastide holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in chemistry, both from UMass Amherst.
She is a founding member of the Graduate Women in STEM (GWIS) group, and is the editor of its magazine.