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G.W. Gant Luxton, PhD

Assistant Professor


Research Interests

The ability of cells to migrate directionally is fundamental to human health. Failed or inappropriate cell migration can result in severe developmental defects or potentially fatal diseases such as immunosuppression, defective wound healing, or cancer metastasis. Directional cell migration depends upon the establishment and maintenance of a stable cell front and rear. This polarization event has recently been shown in several cell types to required to coordinated, but separate positioning of the nucleus and the centrosome at the cell rear and center, respectively. The Luxton Lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms and consequences of nuclear and centrosomal positioning during directional cell migration. Specifically, we are studying how the coupling of the nuclear envelope to the cytoskeleton controls the positioning of these organelles in migrating fibroblasts during wound healing as well as in migrating neurons during brain development. Our lab uses a suite of biochemical, biophysical, cell biological, molecular genetic, and quantitative imaging approaches to address our questions. We are also interested in understanding how defects in organelle positioning contribute to human disease. Consequently, we are actively pursuing research into the contribution of defective organelle positioning in the third most common human neurological movement disorder, dystonia. This disease is characterized by sustained painful muscle contractions that result in twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal posturing. Our research promises to provide basic information critical to further our understanding of cellular, developmental, and pathophysiological processes.


4-128 MCB
420 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455