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Regulation of Membrane Trafficking

The Lab

Intracellular Cargo Transport

Munson Lab Zoom.png

Eukaryotic cells such as yeast, plants, and humans use conserved pathways to direct small membrane-bound vesicles containing specific cargo to discrete subcellular compartments and to the plasma membrane for secretion. Proper navigation of these vesicles through the dense cytosol of the cell is crucial for normal growth, maintenance of cellular integrity, organelle biogenesis, and intercellular signaling events, such as release of hormones, cytokines and neurotransmitters. Disruption of these trafficking pathways has been implicated in a variety of humans diseases, including immune disorders, cancer, diabetes, ciliopathies, and viral and bacterial pathogenesis. Our lab is interested in elucidating the mechanistic details of vesicle delivery to better understand how specificity is maintained in complicated cellular environments, and how errors in trafficking can give rise to disease phenotypes.

Meet the Lab

Research Focus

Multidisciplinary Studies to Delineate Molecular Mechanisms


Our overall research goals are to delineate molecular mechanisms that underlie fundamental cell biology processes of membrane transport, including exocytosis, endocytosis and nuclear export. Elucidation of these mechanisms requires multidisciplinary approaches, combining protein and lipid biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology (both X-ray crystallography and state-of-the-art cryoEM), mass spectrometry and integrative computational approaches, fluorescence microscopy, and genetics and cell biology in a variety of model organisms.

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Integrative structure and function of the yeast exocyst complex.
Ganesan SJ, Feyder MJ, Chemmama IE, Fang F, Rout MP, Chait BT, Shi Y, Munson M, Sali A.
Protein Sci. 2020 Jun;29(6):1486-1501. Epub 2020 May 1.
PMID: 32239688

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Contact Us

Lazare Research Building 905

Lazare Research Building 970

Campus Map (pdf)

508-856-8318 (office)


Mailing Address:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Attn: Dr. Mary Munson/BMP department
364 Plantation St LRB905
Worcester, MA 01605

Join Us

We are always interested in applications from qualified candidates at postdoctoral and research associate levels.

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Undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD at UMass Medical School should apply directly to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Program.