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UNC-Chapel Hill

Education and Training

Roger Williams University, BS, 1984
University of Rhode Island, PhD, 1989
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Postdoctoral, 1993
University of Munich, Postdoctoral, 1995

Areas of Interest

Work in the laboratory of Doug Cyr is focused on understanding the protein folding problem and defining cellular responses to proteotoxic stress. A central focus is understanding how Hsp70 molecular chaperones mediate protein triage and determine the fate of misfolded proteins. Studies on cystic fibrosis identify the ER-quality control machinery that targets CFTR for proteasomal degradation. We also study how misfolded folded membrane proteins are degraded by an ER-quality control autophagy pathway. All of these events are facilitated by Hsp70 molecules that are assembled into complexes with specialized co-chaperones that dictate the fate of misfolded proteins. Disease related mutations in chaperones and autophagy machinery underlie cancer, so basic information on Hsp70 function is being translated to uncover the cause of cystic fibrosis and cell growth abnormalities.