Ben O'Shaughnessy's group combines mathematical and computational modeling, data analysis, image analysis and experimentation to investigate fundamental machineries used by living cells in health and disease. Our research is tightly integrated with collaborative experimental work.
Neurotransmission, neurotransmitter release, other secretion processes
We study neurotransmission and the machinery that releases neurotransmitters at neuronal synapses in the brain. This remarkable machinery achieves the millisecond temporal resolution required for neural circuits to encode information for cognition, sensation and coordinated motor activity. Its misregulation is associated with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. Similar mechanisms govern secretion of other essential bioactive compounds, including hormones such as insulin, cytokines in the immune system and enzymes.
Mechanics of cell division, mechanosensing
We investigate one of life’s most essential force-generating machines, the actomyosin contractile ring that divides cells at the end of the cell cycle during cytokinesis. Cell division propagates the genome and allows organisms to grow and repair, and its misregulation is the essential feature of cancer. Related interests in mechanobiology are mechanosensing and remodeling in the actomyosin cytoskeleton and regulation of cell wall growth in cell walled organisms.
Entry by the SARS-CoV-2 virus
SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 which has become a global pandemic. We are studying how the virus uses its surface spike glycoprotein machinery to invade lung, nasal mucosa or small intestine cells by binding target cell ACE2 receptors and fusing its membrane envelope with target membranes.
September 08, 2020
In the O'Shaughnessy and Simunovic research groups a team of undergrad and Ms students used modeling tools and designed organoid experiments to study the SARS CoV-2 virus.
August 20, 2020
The O’Shaughnessy group has been awarded Microsoft high-performance computing resources to research SARS-CoV-2. These resources enable our group to investigate the mechanisms by which the SARS-CoV-2 enters cells.
August 14, 2020
Postdoc Zach McDargh presented his work on the mechanisms by which Ca2+ triggers neurotransmitter release in the brain at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute as part of the Zuckerman Institute Postdoctoral Seminar series. Congratulations Zach!
August 28, 2019
Hongkang Zhu has joined our group to perform his doctoral research.
August 28, 2019
Jin Zeng has joined our group to perform his doctoral research.
May 6, 2019
We presented our research on neurotransmitter release in the brain at the Quantitative Aspects of Membrane Fusion and Fission Meeting in beautiful Padova, Italy.
October 24, 2018
Dong An has joined our group to perform his doctoral research.
August 27, 2018
Roberto Alonso-Matilla joins our group as a postdoc. Welcome Roberto!
July 15, 2018
Nadiv Dharan joins our group as a postdoc.
Welcome to Nadiv!
© O'Shaughnessy Group 2018