The Rothman Lab

affiliated with

The Columbia University Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics,

The Genome Center at Columbia University,

and The Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network


In our continuing efforts to understand the mechanism and regulation of intracellular membrane fusion we are applying a wide range of different technologies to address fundamental questions of function, regulation and disease association.

Biophysical exploration of SNARE-mediated fusion - Through a combination of high-resolution optical assays and nanoscale force measurements, molecular detail of the fusion mechanism is becoming available.

Regulation of membrane fusion - A series of different membrane reconstitution platforms are being used to identify kinetically limited steps in the fusion reaction which may include a separation of lipid-mixing and content-mixing and which likely respond to important regulatory components including synaptotagmin and Munc-18.

Intracellular trafficking processes in disease - We are developing live cell assays which recapitulate essential features of various diseases. Novel screening approaches have allowed us to identify previously unappreciated factors bearing on Huntingtin aggregate degradation and beta cell insulin release.

SNARE Overview
Current Research
Contacts/ Office