Ryan Elsenpeter, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology Biology


Office: St. Ignatius Science Center 220 J


Cytoplasmic dynein is a large molecular motor complex involved in the transportation of various cargoes along the microtubule network in cells and chromosomal sorting during mitosis. Making use of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, my research is directed toward understanding the interactions between the dynein motor complex and other genes in the fungus. Mutations in genes in the dynein complex have been linked to human disorders such as lissencephaly and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s.


The main questions that students are able to tackle in my lab include:

1)      How do the various members of the dynein complex function together to allow dynein to complete its tasks?

2)      What other genes in the genome of Neurospora does dynein interact with during its function and what is the importance of these interactions?

3)      What is the relationship between the dynein complex and other molecular motors?