Richard I. Morimoto Cell stress responses, molecular chaperones, protein conformational disease

Research Interests

Research in the Morimoto laboratory addresses the following topics: (1) To understand the genetic architecture of the proteostasis network that detects environmental and physiological stress conditions in neurons and intestinal cells into a precise cell stress (heat shock) response for cellular healthspan and organismal longevity, (2) To identify the earliest molecular events in the regulation of protein quality control systems in C. elegans aging that result in protein aggregation and the risk for age-associated degenerative diseases, (3) To develop a human direct differentiated neuronal system for live-cell imaging of protein folding, transport, assembly, and degradation, and to use this system to establish the effects of aging and expression of dominant disease associated aggregation-prone proteins, (4) To employ genetic and small molecule approaches to reset the activity of the proteostasis network to prevent aggregation and cellular failure, (5) To utilize network approaches with computational biology to predict systems robustness and to model systems failure in aging and disease. 

Selected Publications

In vivo properties of the disaggregase function of J‐proteins and Hsc70 in Caenorhabditis elegans stress and aging. Kirstein J, Arnsburg K, Scior A, Szlachcic A, Guilbride DL, Morimoto RI, Bukau B, and Nillegoda NB. Aging Cell. 2017 December;16(6):1414-1424.

Mitochondrial Stress Restores the Heat Shock Response and Prevents Proteostasis Collapse during Aging. Labbadia J, Brielmann RM, Neto MF, Lin Y-F, Haynes CM, and Morimoto RI. Cell Reports. 2017 November 7;21(6):1481-1494.

Spinal motor neuron protein supersaturation patterns are associated with inclusion body formation in ALS. Ciryam P, Lambert-Smith IA, Bean DM, Freer R, Cid F, Tartaglia GG, Saunders DN, Wilson MR, Oliver SG, Morimoto RI, Dobson CM, Vendruscolo M, Favrin G, and Yerbury JJ. PNAS. 2017 May 16;114(20):E3935-E3943.

E2F coregulates an essential HSF developmental program that is distinct from the heat-shock response. Li J, Chauve L, Phelps G, Brielmann RM, and Morimoto RI. Genes & Development. 2016 September 15;30(18):2062-2075

Repression of the Heat Shock Response Is a Programmed Event at the Onset of Reproduction. Labbadia J and Morimoto RI. Molecular Cell. 2015 August 20;59(4):639-650. 

View all publications by Richard I. Morimoto listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.