MTE: Structure & Function of Tubulin with Dr. Nogales
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On this episode of “Meet the Experts” we have the honor of interviewing Eva Nogales, the first to determine the atomic structure of tubulin by electron crystallography.

Eva Nogales, PhD, is a biophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is a faculty member in the Division of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.  Her lab uses electron microscopy, computational image analysis as well as functional biochemical assays to gain insights into function and regulation of the large biological assemblies.

Questions & Time Stamps

3:02 – I’ve interacted with many European scientists and they often told me how hard it is for them to get a post-doctoral fellowship in the US and then eventually get a faculty position. You’ve not only done all this, but are doing it at the highest level. In every category, you have been at a statistical advantage but you smashed every ceiling. How does it feel to have accomplished this?

6:13 – What is tubulin and what is a microtubule?

8:50 – Videos of cell division and microtubules.

11:52 – What medical breakthroughs have come from understanding how tubulin works?

16:29 – Video of microtubules dynamically forming and shrinking at cell edge.

24:59 – Does your lab have a preferred experimental method for revealing the structure of proteins?

27:37 – Could you describe your academic journey starting from high school?

32:56 – What type of background courses do a student need to do the research that you do?

35:12 – It’s easy for students to be inspired by someone like you, but we want them to know that it takes time to attain this level of success. Were there times in your academic journey when you felt inadequate or wanted to quit? 38:05 – What advice do you have for current high school and college students who want to pursue a career in your field?

41:26 – Listener Question: My daughter wants to do research in your lab. What do you look for when people apply to work in your lab?

43:24 – Listener Question: Could you describe the moment when you knew that you were the first to discover the structure of tubulin?

45:43 – Listener Question: I want to do research in cell biology, but it seems like everything has been discovered already.

47:48 – Listener Question: What are some things that your lab is working on?

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