Living organisms are constantly challenged by stressful conditions. To cope, their cells have evolved to utilize specialized subcellular compartments formed by phase separation, called biomolecular condensates. Biomolecular condensates respond rapidly to cellular needs by regulating cellular biological processes and biochemistry. These include stress granules (SGs), which are found in all eukaryotic organisms. Using proteomics, genomics, and cell biological tools, we investigate the organization, dynamics, and functions of SGs.
We also study how dysregulated biomolecular condensates can cause diseases. Aberrant phase transition of biomolecular condensates underly the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Using quantitative proteomics, high-resolution microscopy, and biophysical characterization of proteins undergoing aberrant phase transition in ALS-FTD, we aim to understand the roles that biomolecular condensates play in ALS-FTD pathogenesis. Our work provides novel strategies to understand and treat ALS and FTD.
- Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in ‘membraneless organelle proteomics’
- Hospital for Sick Children
Look for Dr. Youn on Temerty Medicine Connect