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 cryo-electron microscopy, single-molecule fluorescence and biochemistry.

Overarching questions of the lab:

  • How is specificity determined between motor proteins and cargo?
  • How are the activities of motor proteins regulated?
  • How do pathogens hijack the microtubule transport machinery? 

Along the way, we are leveraging artificial intelligence and cloud computing to improve cryo-electron microscopy data collection and analysis to streamline structure determination.  

Michael Cianfrocco

Michael Cianfrocco, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, U-M Medical School
Director, Perrigo Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program, U-M Life Sciences Institute

Publication Highlights

Autoinhibited kinesin-1 adopts a hierarchical folding pattern

Tan Z, Yue Y, da Veiga Leprevost F, Haynes SE, Basrur V, Nesvizhskii AI, Verhey KJ, Cianfrocco MA#. eLife (2023)

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#. eLife (2023)
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) [Cover article]
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