Michael Cianfrocco Lab

Our Research

We are a research team that is trying to understand the molecular details that determine how, where, and when motor proteins transport intracellular cargo.  Our research program focuses on the structural biology and biophysics underlying microtubule-based intracellular transport through the use of cryo-electron microscopysingle molecule TIRF, and biochemistry.

Overarching questions of the lab:

  • How is specificity determined between motor proteins and cargo?
  • How are the activities of multi-motor complexes regulated?
  • What are the molecular consequences of neurodegenerative disease-causing mutations? 

Along the way, we are also developing cloud computing tools for cryo-electron microscopy to facilitate its adoption and to remove barriers for new users.

About Michael Cianfrocco

Research Assistant Professor
  • cryo-electron microscopy
  • microtubule-based intracelluar transport
  • single-molecule methods

Michael Cianfrocco's lab focuses on the structural biology and biophysics underlying microtubule-based intracellular transport, defects in which can result in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. His lab uses a combination of high-resolution cryo-EM and single-molecule techniques to investigate transporting of motor-cargo complexes.

Recent Publications

COSMIC2: A Science Gateway for Cryo-Electron Microscopy. Cianfrocco MA, Wong M, Youn C, Wagner R, Leschziner AE. Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing. 2017. Accepted.

Mechanism and regulation of cytoplasmic dynein. Cianfrocco MA, DeSantis ME, Leschziner AE, Reck-Peterson SL. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2015;31:83-108. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-100814-125438. Epub 2015 Sep 30. Review. [PubMed]

Low cost, high performance processing of single particle cryo-electron microscopy data in the cloud. Cianfrocco MA, Leschziner AE. eLife. 2015 May 8;4. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06664.  [PubMed][bioRxiv]

View a full list publications on PubMed.

Lab News

Open positions available for undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows excited to push the limits of science. 

Our lab is hiring a lab manager / staff scientist. Interested? [Apply here] May 1, 2017

Announcing the Cianfrocco Lab! The newest member of the LSI and Michigan community April 25, 2017