Research Groups

Howard Riezman Lab


Eukaryotic cells contain a large number of different lipid species. In fact, the number of different lipid species probably exceeds the number of genes in many organisms. The main goal of our research is to understand the functions of membrane lipids in cell biology and physiology. To this end, we need to develop a comprehensive understanding about lipid distribution and homeostasis in cells and how these are regulated.

We are using a wide variety of approaches to reach our goal, including genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, chemical biology, synthetic biology, and analytical approaches including mass spectrometry. We are also using a number of experimental systems, with emphasis on the yeast S. cerevisiae, but including C. elegans, and mammalian tissue culture cells. Although our studies currently lead us mainly to study the functions of glycosylphosphatidylinositols, sterols and sphingolipids, we also work on other lipid species when they are implicated in function through our unbiased approaches.