Cell biology is the quintessential multidisciplinary field
To understand the cellular machinery and how the parts are integrated to generate complex cellular behavior requires structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry, state-of-the-art high spatial and temporal resolution microscopy, quantitative image analysis, comprehensive data analysis and ultimately mathematical modeling. Problems have to be approached from many different perspectives. The Schmid lab accomplishes this through strong collaborations, both between members within the lab and between other labs. Recent, successful collaborations have been with structural biologists (Josh Chappie, Fred Dyda and Jenny Hinshaw at the National Institutes of Health, and Ron Milligan at The Scripps Research Institute), physicists (Vadim Frolov, Bilbao, Spain and Josh Zimmerberg, NIH) and chemists (MG Finn, TSRI). Importantly, we have a long-standing collaboration with Gaudenz Danuser and his group (Harvard), who are experts in developing computer algorithms for particle tracking and detection, for analysis of live-cell images and in mathematical modeling of complex cellular processes. Effective collaborations require common, well-defined objectives and the integration of complementary expertise. They are absolutely dependent on effective, constant communication, shared credit, mutual respect and trust.
Collaborative research is often the most rewarding and most effective means of answering important questions. Underscoring this importance, Marcel Mettlen, Ph.D., coordinates these efforts as our Director of Collaborations and Research.