Michael Cianfrocco Lab

We investigate the molecular details that determine how, where and when motor proteins transport intracellular cargo to better understand their role in human health and disease.

Our Research

Our research program focuses on the structural biology and biophysics underlying microtubule-based intracellular transport through the use of cryo-electron microscopy, single 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.


Publication Highlights

Optimized path planning surpasses human efficiency in cryo-EM imaging

Li Y*, Fan Q*, Cohn J, Demers V, Lee JY, Yip L, Cianfrocco MA#, Vos S#. bioRxiv (2022)

Cloud computing platforms to support cryo-EM structure determination

Li Y, Cianfrocco MA#. Trends Biochem Sci (2022)

Kinesin-binding protein remodels the kinesin motor to prevent microtubule binding
Solon AL*, Tan Z*, Schutt KL, Jepsen L, Haynes SE, Nesvizhskii AI, Sept D, Stumpff J, Ohi R#, Cianfrocco MA#. Science Advances (2021)
High-throughput cryo-EM enabled by user-free preprocessing routines
Li Y, Cash JN, Tesmer JJG, Cianfrocco MA#. Structure (2020)
What could go wrong? A practical guide to single-particle cryo-EM: From biochemistry to atomic models
Cianfrocco MA*, Kellogg EH*. J Chem Inf Model (2020)

* Equal contributions
# Corresponding author

Cianfrocco Lab

Room 3163
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216