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The Gennerich Lab combines single-molecule biophysics with cell biology and biochemistry to study the molecular mechanisms underlying cell division, intracellular organelle and mRNA transport, as well as the molecular mechanism of protein degradation. Current research is focused on the molecular function of the microtubule motor cytoplasmic dynein (a molecular machine that harnesses the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis to perform mechanical work in eukaryotic cells) and its role in sister-chromatid separation and chromosome segregation, and the transport of mitochondria and mRNA. We use a multidisciplinary approach integrating ultrasensitive single-molecule assays (high-resolution optical trapping and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy), subwavelength resolution live cell imaging and genetic approaches such as homologous recombination and RNA interference to dissect the mechanisms of microtubule-based motor proteins and their associated biological processes. Our long-term goal is to understand the fundamental design principles of biomolecular motors and the molecular basis of human diseases with underlying defects in motor function.