The defining feature of eukaryotic cells is the presence of numerous organelles, each of which provides the optimal membrane surface and enclosed environment for specific cellular processes. The precise lipid and protein composition of membranes and the formation of sub-domains within them play essential roles in regulating organelle-specific reactions. Membrane composition is also crucial to inter-organelle trafficking and signaling.
The Bajjalieh Lab studies how organelle membrane composition influences fundamental cellular processes. Our current work is focused on understanding how the composition of synaptic vesicle membranes modulates the release of neurotransmitter from neurons and how lipid modifying enzymes contribute to vesicle fusion and intracellular signaling.