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Jennifer L. Ross

Associate Professor

Research areas include cytoskeleton, Axonal transport, and mitosis.

Current Research
The Ross Lab studies how the microtubule cytoskeleton organizes the interior of living cells. Cells completely remodel their interior structures during cell division and differentiation - both vital processes for organismal development, maturation, and maintenance. Due to this fact, microtubules and their associated proteins are obvious and highly sought targets for drugs to treat cancer, neuropathies, ciliopathies, and others. The microtubule cytoskeleton has two roles in this process: first the microtubule network itself is a mechanical structure that supports the shape and organization within cells, second microtubules are the tracks used for long-distance intracellular transport by molecular motor proteins that move organelles and protein cargos in the cell.

Correct microtubule organization is essential to many cellular processes: cell division, neuronal cell development, differentiation, and maintenance, plant cell cellulose deposition, and ciliary beating in the lungs, kidneys, and intestines. Failure to create the correct microtubule network in these processes results in cancer and birth defects, brain abnormalities and neuromuscular diseases, fragile plants, tumors and cell death. We use bottom-up reconstitution techniques and cutting-edge super-resolution single molecule imaging to systematically dissect the underlying physical principles governing microtubule organization to address this large number of essential cellular processes.

Learn more at people.umass.edu/rossj/Home.html

Academic Background

  • BA Wellesley College, 2000
  • PhD University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004
J.L. Ross, "Dark Matter of Biology," Biophysical Journal, (2016).
M.E. Bailey, D.L. Sackett, J.L. Ross, "Katanin severing and binding microtubules is inhibited by tubulin carboxy tails type," Biophysical Journal, 109, 2546–2561 (2015).
L. Conway, M.W. Gramlich, S.M.A. Tabei, J.L. Ross, “Microtubule Orientation and Spacing within Bundles is Critical for Long-Range Kinesin-1 Motility,” Cytoskeleton, 71, 595-610 (2014). web Conway-Cytoskeleton-2014
L. Conway J.L. Ross, “Kinesin Motor Transport is Altered by Macromolecular Crowding and Transiently Associated Microtubule-Associated Proteins,” arxiv.org (2014)
L. Conway, J.L. Ross, “A model system to study transport of self-assembled cargos,” Communicative and Integrative Biology, 6, e-25387 (2013).
L.Conway, D. Wood, E. Tuzel, J.L. Ross, “Motor Transport of Self-Assembled Cargos in Crowded Conditions,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 109, 20814-20819 (2012).
 
Contact Info

Department of Physics
Hasbrouck 302
666 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-2399
rossj@physics.umass.edu

people.umass.edu/rossj/Home.html