Ph.D., Florida State University, 2007
Postdoc., University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 2007-2011
Postdoc., Yale School of Medicine, 2012-2015
Our research focuses on membrane trafficking. Our goal is to understand the cellular processes that govern the delivery and exchange of biological cargos such as nutrients and signaling receptors from the cell surface to the complex network of intercellular compartments that lies beneath the plasma membrane. We are particularly interested in investigating the mechanisms involved in the packaging, transport and delivery of these carriers to their correct intercellular destinations. Defects in these pathways contribute to a multitude of human diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases and cancer. General topics we are currently investigating include:
• Endosome sorting and organelle biogenesis
• Small compound drug screens
Our lab members utilize protein biochemistry, molecular biology, live cell imaging and yeast genetics to study these proteins in a biological and cellular context. Many yeast trafficking proteins are homologous to those found in animal cells, indicating that yeast can serve as an important model system for studying protein functions.
Dr. Chi received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from Florida State University working in the laboratory of Tom Keller, a cytoskeleton lab investigating isoforms of the world’s largest continuous polypeptide, titin. After graduate school, Dr. Chi joined Sandy Lemmon’s lab at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine studying receptor-mediated endocytosis in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Chi found yeast to be a very powerful model organism and wanted to continue his studies in yeast membrane trafficking and subsequently joined Chris Burd’s Lab in the Department of Cell Biology at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. At Yale, Dr. Chi had dual appointments as research faculty and as Yale Summer Session faculty, where he taught Cell Biology and membrane physiology. In 2015, he joined the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He was drawn to UNC-Charlotte for the diversity of the department and its excellence in research and teaching.
Chi, R.J., Harrison, M.S., Burd C.G.,Biogenesis of endosomal-derived transport carriers. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Sep;72(18):3441-55.
Chi, R.J., Liu, T.T., West, M.C., Wang, J., Odorizzi, G., Burd, C.G., Fission of SNX-BAR-coated endosomal retrograde transport carriers is promoted by the dynamin related protein Vps1. J Cell Biol. Mar 3;204(5):793-806*., 2014
*Selected as featured article in March Issue Biobytes podcast
Wu, X, Chi, R.J., Baskin, J.M., Lucast, L., Burd, C.G., De Camilli, P., Reinisch K.M. Structural Insights into Assembly and Regulation of the Plasma Membrane Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase Complex. Dev Cell. Jan 13;28(1):19-29., 2014
Xu, P, Baldridge, R.D., Chi, R.J., Burd, C.G., Graham, T. Phosphatidylserine flipping enhances membrane curvature and negative charge required for vesicular transport.
J Cell Biol. Sep 16;202(6):875-86., 2013
Chi, R. J., Torres, O.T., Segarra V.A, Chang, J., Lansley, T., Newpher, T., Lemmon S. K. Role of Scd5, a protein phosphatase 1 targeting protein, in the phosphoregulation of Sla1 during endocytosis J Cell Sci. Oct. 15; 125(Pt 20): 4728-39., 2012
Boettner, D.R., Chi, R. J.,Lemmon S. K. Lessons from yeast for clathrin-mediated endocytosis Nat Cell Biol. Dec 22; 14 (1):2-10., 2011
Collette, J., Chi, R. J., Boettner, D., Linton M. T., Geli, M. I., Mertz, A. J., Lemmon, S.K. Clathrin functions in the absence of terminal domain binding site for adaptor-associated clathrin-box motifs Mol Biol Cell. 14, 3401-13., 2009
Chi, R. J., Simon, A. R., Bienkiewicz, E. A., Felix, A., and Keller, T.C., III. Smooth muscle titin Zq domain interaction with the smooth muscle alpha-actinin central rod J Biol Chem. 30, 20959-67., 2008
Chi, R. J. and Keller, T.C., III. Smitin-myosin II coassembly arrays in vitro. In: Cell Biology Protocols, J.Robin Harris, ed., Wiley Press, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 369-371., 2006
Chi, R. J., Olenych, S. G., Kim, K., and Keller, T. C., III. Smooth muscle alpha-actinin interaction with smitin. Int J Biochem. Cell Biol. 37, 1470-1482., 2005