Current Research

Mentor: James H. Hurley, PhD

Aaron Joiner is a firm believer that structure dictates function: from items that we can easily see and use (e.g., vehicles, furniture, tools) to cellular components that are challenging to visualize (e.g., DNA, RNA, proteins). In his research, Joiner determines the structures of proteins at the atomic scale, using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). These structures then serve as the foundation for understanding the proteins’ cellular functions. He is particularly interested in a set of challenging proteins that dynamically interact with organelle membranes and is currently focused on the role of the C9orf72 protein in neurodegenerative disease. 

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