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Gia Voeltz wants to solve the mystery of how and why some membrane-bound organelles have characteristic shapes and dynamic behaviors. Voeltz and her team are using cell biology, biochemistry, and electron microscopy to study how one organelle – the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) – influences the shape and dynamics of other organelles. Specifically, the team’s goal is to identify the role of ER membrane contact sites (MCSs) and MCS proteins in regulating the constriction and division of endosomes and mitochondria. Voeltz’s work may also reveal mechanisms by which viruses and other pathogens are trafficked within cells.