Kassandra Ori-McKenney

Kassandra Ori-McKenney

Position Title
Associate Professor

  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
3224 Green Hall

Research Interests

Become enchanted with the neuronal cytoskeleton! The goal of my lab is to understand the complex interplay between microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that regulate a number of cytoskeleton-based processes during neuronal development and maintenance. Microtubules are dynamic polymers that not only provide structural support, but also serve as intracellular tracks for dynein and kinesin motors that must efficiently transport cargoes for the establishment and maintenance of cellular organization and function. However, these motors encounter numerous non-enzymatic MAPs on the lattice that can dictate when and where motor progression can occur within a cell. We are only beginning to understand how MAPs in their unaltered states control microtubule dynamics and microtubule-based transport, but MAPs themselves are heavily modified by a handful of kinases whose regulatory effects remain unclear. Our lab seeks to dissect the multiple layers of regulation of microtubule-based processes by studying the biochemical and genetic relationships between kinases, MAPs, and motors both in vivo and in vitro.

Education and Degree(s)
  • 2005 B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior, Vassar College
  • 2011 Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Columbia University