New York University
Regulation of microtubules and actin cross-talk in oriented cell migration: the role of formins, APC protein and unconventional myosins
Francesca Bartolini began her studies at the University of Rome "La Sapienza," where she was trained as a geneticist and received her degree in Biology. In 2004 she earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at New York University with a thesis on the characterization of two newly identified proteins with similar functions to tubulin-specific chaperones. The same year she moved to the laboratory of Dr. Gundersen at Columbia University, where she was awarded a grant by the "Telethon" Foundation (Italy) to investigate the role of formins, a class of tubulin and actin regulators that are also involved in the onset of a genetic syndrome that causes deafness. She has since focused on the basic understanding of regulated tubulin turn-over and on the cross-talk between the actin and the tubulin cytoskeletons in basic cellular processes such as oriented cell migration and adhesion. More recently, her work is also aimed at dissecting the role of unconventional myosins in the regulation of organelle trafficking through the selective stabilization of the tubulin cytoskeleton downstream of Rho GTPases, and discovering whether this process is also necessary in the establishment of neuronal synapses and long term memory.