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Emtage, Lesley

Emtage, Lesley

Curriculum Vitae

Assistant Professor

Phone: 718-262-2715
Office Location: AC-4E03E


Degree Institution Field Dates
PhD  Columbia University  Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics   
MM  Indiana University (Bloomington)  Viola Performance   
BS  University of Pittsburgh  Chemistry and Music, summa cum laude   
My work has focused on cellular processes in neurons. My main research interests focus on identifying and characterizing factors that influence the formation of unfolded protein aggregates, using the Huntingtin protein expressed in S. cerevisiae as a model system. Unfolded protein aggregates are believed to be the fundamental cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons’s and Huntington’s. The techniques that I use to address these questions include genetics, molecular biology, and quantitative fluorescence microscopy.

Areas of Expertise

Biochemistry and Biophysics
Cell and Molecular Biology
Developmental Biology

Articles in Field Of Expertise

S Pei, TC Swayne, JF Morris, L Emtage. "Threshold concentration and random collision determine the growth of the phase-separated huntingtin inclusion from a stable core." Communications Biology. 2021: online.

F Aktar, C Burudpakdee, M Polanco, S Pei, TC Swayne, P LipkeL Pon, L Emtage. "The huntingtin inclusion is a dynamic phase-separated compartment." LSA. 2(5) 2019: e201900489.

L Emtage, S Aziz-Zaman, O Padovan, R Horvitz, C Fang-Yen, N Ringstad. "IRK-1 potassium channels mediate peptidergic inhibition of Caenorhabditis elegans serotonin neurons via a Go signaling pathway." J. Neuroscience. 32(46) 2012: 16285-16295.

A Bounoutas, J Kratz, L Emtage, C Ma, K Nguyen, and M Chalfie. "Microtubule depolymerization in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons reduces gene expression through a p38 MAPK pathway." PNAS. 108 2011: 3982-3987.

L Emtage, H Chang, R Tiver, C Rongo. "MAGI-1 modulates AMPA receptor synaptic localization and behavioral plasticity in response to prior experience." PLoS One. 4 2009: e4613.

L Emtage, G Gu, E Hartwieg, M Chalfie. "Extracellular proteins organize the mechanosensory channel complex in C. elegans touch receptor neurons." Neuron. 44 2004: 795-807..

Presented Papers, Lectures, and Exhibitions and Performances

" Concentration-dependent growth and dispersion of a phase-separated inclusion of unfolded protein in vivo " 2020: Levich Institute Seminar Series.

" Nucleation and Growth of a Phase-separated Huntingtin Inclusion " 2019: American Society of Cell Biology Annual Meeting.

" Using mutant huntingtin to probe the nature and formation of unfolded protein inclusions in yeast " 2019: NYC Yeast Meeting.

" The unfolded Huntingtin protein inclusion in S. cerevisiae is a non-membrane bound fluid compartment with novel properties " 2017: City College Biology Colloquium.

" Decoupling and Recoupling: the Important Distinctions between Program Assessment and Course Assessment " 2017: Drexel Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning Assessment.

" MAGI-1 modulates behavioral plasticity and glutamate receptor synaptic localization " 2008: C. elegans Neuronal Development, Synaptic Function, and Behavior Meeting.

" MAGI-1 modulates behavioral plasticity and glutamate receptor synaptic localization " 2007: CSHL Meeting on Synapses: From Molecules to Circuits and Behavior.

" ceMAGI-1 modulates behavioral plasticity and glutamate receptor synaptic localization " 2006: Society for Neuroscience.

" The evolving model of mechanosensory transduction in C. elegans " 2005: East Coast Nerve Network, invited speaker.

" Mechanosensory complex interactions with the extracellular matrix " 2002: East Coast Worm Meeting.

Professional Honors, Prizes, Fellowships

National Academies Education Fellow in the Sciences: 2015-2016.

Charles and Johanna Busch Fellowship: 2007-2008.

American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship: 2005-2007.

National Science Foundation Summer Training Fellowship: .

Richard King Mellon Foundation Scholar: .


National Institute of Health, In vivo targeting of unfolded protein to a phase-separated Huntingtin inclusion. 2020-2024: $493,009.

PSC-CUNY Research Award, Identifying the contents of an unfolded protein inclusion body. 2020-2021: $3,500.

PSC-CUNY Research Award, Characterizing the molecular mechanisms underlying inclusion body formation. 2019-2020: $3,500.

National Institute of Health, Cellular mechanisms underlying detoxification of mutant Huntingtin. 2016-2019: $457,359.

US Department of Defense, Co-PI, High-Sensitivity Imaging for Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2017: $508,473.50.

PSC-CUNY Research Award, Identifying factors that contribute to the aggregation and removal of mutant Huntingtin. 2017-2018: $3,500.

PSC-CUNY Research Award, Investigation into the role of chaperone protein Hsp42 in Huntingtin protein aggregation. 2015-2016: $3,500.

Pace University, Small heat shock proteins are required for the formation of polyQ-Huntingtin inclusion bodies. 2013-2014: $1,500.

American Heart Association, Characterization of MAG-1, a Synaptic Scaffolding Protein Required for Glutamate Receptor Localization. 2005-2007: $80,000.

Other Professional Activities and Public Service

Ad Hoc Reviewer, Nature Communications, Nature Chemical Biology, Computational and Structural Biotechnology, Biophysical Journal, CourseSourse: 2016 - present.

American Society for Cell Biology member: 2014 - present.

Society for Developmental Biology member: 2015 - present.

Judge, Junior Mathematics, Science and Humanities Symposium: 2015 - 2019.

Judge, TriBeta National Biological Honor Society NE-1 Convention: 2014.