Eukaryotic cells such as yeast, plants, and humans use conserved pathways to direct small membrane-bound vesicles containing specific cargo to discrete subcellular compartments and to the plasma membrane for secretion. Proper navigation of these vesicles through the dense cytosol of the cell is crucial for normal growth, maintenance of cellular integrity, organelle biogenesis, and intercellular signaling events, such as release of hormones, cytokines and neurotransmitters. Disruption of these trafficking pathways has been implicated in a variety of humans diseases, including immune disorders, cancer, diabetes, ciliopathies, and viral and bacterial pathogenesis. Our lab at UMass Medical School (  is interested in elucidating the mechanistic details of vesicle delivery to better understand how specificity is maintained in complicated cellular environments, and how errors in trafficking can give rise to disease phenotypes.