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Degrees and Professional Interests
B.S., Southeastern Massachusetts University; Ph.D., Wesleyan University. Teaching assistant, Peterson Fellowship, Wesleyan University. Adjunct lecturer, postdoctoral fellow, University of Michigan. Member of Sigma Xi, Genetics Society of America, American Society of Microbiology. Professional interests: cellular events that lead to appropriate spatial organization of subcellular material. Faculty, Bard Center for Environmental Policy. (1992– ) Associate Professor of Biology.
- Subcellular Biology
- Eukaryotic Genetics, Bioethics
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Biology
Cytoskeletal dynamics are key to issues like the appropriate spatial organization of subcellular material and cell shape changes. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, actin filaments are the major structural component of the cytoskeleton. Profilin is an actin monomer binding protein that has been implicated in the control of actin polymerization and signal transduction; perhaps linking the two.
With several of his students, he has been attempting to characterize the PTM1 gene and its protein product at the molecular and cellular level. Thus far theyvehas discovered that yeast cells in which the PTM1 gene has been removed appear normal under all conditions tested. They have also found another gene, PTM2, with a predicted amino acid sequence strikingly similar to that of PTM1, suggesting functional redundancy. It turns out that cells lacking both PTM1 & PTM2 are also indistinguishable from cells containing both genes.
While continuing to explore the link between profilin, PTM1 and PTM2, he has also begun performing genetic screens to identify genes that interact with PTM1 and/or PTM2. In addition to the molecular genetic approach, the lab is also using biochemical and cell biological approaches to look at the protein products of these two genes.
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- Tibbetts, M., M. Donovan, S. Roe, A.M. Stiltner, and C.I. Hammond. 1994. KIN1 and KIN2 protein kinases localize to the cytoplasmic face of the yeast plasma membrane. Exp Cell Res 213:93-99.
- Tibbetts, M.F. and R. Nichols. (1993) Immunocytochemistry of sequence-related neuropeptides in Drosophila. Neuropeptides, 24(6): 321-325.