Fluorescently labeled isogenic prion-containing (red) and prion-free (blue) cells show dynamic interdependent fitness in a growing colony.

Proteins often engage other protein molecules of the same or similar sequence. This can lead to a self-reinforcing series of conformational changes – protein aggregation – that changes the flow of biological information and, in some cases, the fates of cells that harbor protein aggregates.

We seek to understand the cellular and evolutionary implications of protein aggregation using genetic, in vivo biochemical, and cell-biological approaches.