Research at the Orbach Lab involves constant analysis of the hypotheses we explore. The multidisciplinary nature of our work is the major strength of our lab . Read on to find out more about our latest work.
Eukaryotic cilia and flagella are evolutionarily conserved organelles that are present across the eukaryotic phylogeny. An increasing body of evidence suggests that motile and primary cilia play major roles in motility, development, and sensory signaling. Consistent with their important role, a large group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous human pathologies, known as ciliopathies, are associated with dysfunction of the cilia (chronic respiratory infections, laterality abnormalities, and infertility).
Extensive cell biological studies have provided a wealth of knowledge concerning cilia; however, our understanding of the relationship between the ciliary microtubule scaffold, known as the axoneme, and ciliary function is still limited. Here, in our lab, we are dedicated to expanding this knowledge. Through rigorous research and innovative thinking, our team seeks to uncover the intricacies of ciliary function and its implications for human health.
Our overarching goal is to understand the interplay between the axoneme structure and the ciliary function. We use molecular biology, biochemical, biophysical, and various interdisciplinary approaches to gain new insights into the relationship between the structure-function of the cilia. Our work does not stop at understanding these mechanisms; we strive to apply this knowledge towards the development of synthetic cells, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in biological engineering and synthetic biology.
As a model system, we mainly use the biflagellate green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This model is ideal for our sophisticated approaches, allowing us to delve deep into cellular mechanisms and apply our findings in groundbreaking ways, from understanding natural biological systems to engineering synthetic cells. Our lab's commitment to utilizing and advancing these techniques places us at the forefront of cellular and synthetic biology research.