Leah Watson

Leah Watson
Undergraduate Institution: Spelman College
Email: ljw5@email.unc.edu
Department: Cell & Developmental Biology
PI: Patrick Brennwald
Research Summary:

Cell polarity is critical for many cellular and biological processes throughout evolution. In budding yeast, cell polarity is essential for mitosis, mating and invasive growth. The Rho GTPase Cdc42 is a conserved major regulator of cell polarity. During mitosis, or daughter (bud) production, Cdc42’s control over cell polarity depends heavily upon its local concentration at the plasma membrane. Essentially, a bud will develop only where a pool of active Cdc42 exists. My current work focuses on understanding the mechanism(s) involved in maintaining Cdc42’s local concentration at the plasma membrane during polarized growth.