Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Ryan D. Baldridge, PhD

The goal of this research is to increase our understanding of the integral membrane protein quality control systems. These systems are involved in regulation of proteins in different cellular organelles. One of these systems, called endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD), plays a central role in many cancer processes by regulating the levels of proteins involved in tumor growth and metastasis. A common feature of all types of cancer is survival during unfavorable conditions that would trigger apoptosis in normal cells. In many cases, the rapid growth rates of cancer cells can generate environments triggering cellular stress. The ERAD system is upregulated as a cellular response to mitigate stress by removing unnecessary proteins from cells. Despite the significance in human physiology, the mechanistic aspects of the integral membrane protein quality control systems (including ERAD) are poorly understood. Dr. Baldridge aims to gain an improved understanding of ERAD mechanisms, which may lead to more effective cancer therapies in the future.

Project title: "Investigating the mechanism of retro-translocation by ERAD"
Institution: University of Michigan
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biochemistry