The Kwiatkowski Lab

The Kwiatkowski Lab is located in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The primary focus of work in the Kwiatkowski Lab is to gain a mechanistic understanding of cardiomyocyte adhesion and cytoskeletal organization. Our approach is to use to a combination of protein biochemistry, cell biology and microscopy to define mechanisms of cell-cell adhesion, and downstream regulation of actin and intermediate filament organization, by the cadherin-catenin adhesion complex. Our rationale is that understanding the molecular mechanisms of adherens junction adhesion in cardiomyocytes will provide fundamental insight into cardiomyocyte cell-cell adhesion and adherens junction biology.

Latest news

New alpha-T-catenin papers

The Gottardi Lab just published two new papers on our favorite alpha-catenin, alpha-T-catenin. Check them out: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091674916001093 http://jmolecularpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40303-016-0017-9

First paper in print

The final version of our first paper on alpha-T-catenin in now out (and open access)! http://www.jbc.org/content/291/30/15687.long  

Updated Links Page

We’ve added a few Pittsburgh-related links to the Links Page. Check them out!

See all our news

Team

Adam Kwiatkowski

Adam Kwiatkowski

Principal Investigator

Adam did his Ph.D. work with Frank Gertler at MIT and his postdoc research with James Nelson at Stanford. He moved to Pittsburgh to start his own lab in April 2012.

Adam’s NIH BioSketch

Adam’s Google Scholar Profile

Adam’s ResearchGate Profile

 

Chelsea Merkel

Chelsea Merkel

Graduate Student

Chelsea is a 3rd year PhD student in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology. She joined the Kwiatkowski lab in April of 2014 after receiving her BS in Biochemistry from Eastern University. Aside from lab work, Chelsea is a teaching assistant in the School of Medicine for first and second year medical students and serves at the Chief Human Resources Officer for a local non-profit graduate student consulting organization. She has big plans to work for NASA with the hopes of going to space.

Jon Heier

Jon Heier

Graduate Student

Jon is a Ph.D. student in the Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology program. He joined the lab in March of 2016. Jon hails from Wisconsin. When not in lab, he enjoys ice fishing, cheese curds and the Green Bay Packers. He aspires to own a hunting lodge.

Ian Dale

Ian Dale

Laboratory Technician

lan has been with the Kwiatkowski lab since September 2012.  During his time as a student researcher, Ian was awarded multiple University of Pittsburgh Honors College Breckenridge Research Fellowships and Dietrich School of Arts and Science Research Awards.  In April 2015 Ian graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Biology.  Currently he is the laboratory technician and plans to attend medical school in the future.

Roisin O’Dowd

Roisin O’Dowd

Undergraduate Student

Roisin is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh and joined the Kwiatkowski Lab in January 2015. She intends to major in Molecular Biology and also studies homeland security through the Pitt NPHS-STEM program. Her future plans include attending medical or graduate school and she hopes to one day work for NASA.