Work in the Schroer lab addresses questions of cell motility: movement within the cell and movement of the cell as a whole. Our focus is on the microtubule cytoskeleton, the motors that power movement, and the cargo structures and molecules with which motors interact.

Much of our work is focused on the cytoplasmic dynein motor, specifically its “partner in crime”, dynactin. A multisubunit protein complex with an intriguing shape, dynactin acts as an adaptor that allows dynein to associate with its many subcellular cargoes. Dynein may provide the brawn for movement, but dynactin acts as the brain that controls dynein. Dynactin allows dynein to be targeted to different cellular structures at different times in development and the cell cycle, and also enhances dynein activity directly.