Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Pringle, John R.
Location Stanford University
Primary Field Genetics
Secondary Field Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Election Citation
Pringle is a leader in developing genetic approaches for the study of cellular morphogenesis in yeast. He showed that Cdc42 is a Rho-family GTPase required for the establishment of cell polarity. He also discovered the septins, a new cytoskeletal filament system conserved from yeast to humans.
 Research Interests
John Pringle's laboratory works in two distinct areas. First, the group continues its long-standing use of yeast and other genetically tractable model organisms to investigate fundamental problems in cell biology, notably the mechanisms of cell polarization and cytokinesis. Particular current foci are to further elucidate the roles of the septin proteins and the mechanisms by which yeast, algae such as Chlamydomonas, and indeed most of the world's phylogenetically diverse eukaryotic cells can form cleavage furrows during cytokinesis without a type-II myosin and hence without the actomyosin contractile ring that has long been believed to be responsible for this process. Second, most of the group now works on developing the small sea anemone Aiptasia as a model system for studies of the molecular and cell biology of dinoflagellate-cnidarian symbiosis, which is critical for the survival of reef-building corals and other animals but remains very poorly understood. Processes under investigation include the recognition and signaling events involved in symbiosis establishment, the mechanisms coordinating the activities of the symbiotic partners during stable symbiosis, and the signaling and cellular processes involved in symbiosis breakdown under stress. A particular effort is to develop the genomic resources and genetic methods that will underpin future studies.

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