Primary Research Focus
The nuclear envelope sits at the critical interface between the cell’s nucleus and cytoplasm. Therefore, it should be no surprise that defects in nuclear envelope constituents give rise to a myriad of rare diseases.
In response to barriers in his research on the nuclear envelope, Dr. Kyle Roux established a method called BioID to screen for protein proximity and interactions in living cells, thus overcoming several limitations intrinsic to conventional approaches. Since it is uniquely capable of screening for protein associations in living cells, BioID is rapidly becoming an established method used by the scientific community.
Dr. Roux’s ongoing research program is focused on further development and applications of BioID, and combining BioID with conventional approaches to study the structure and function of the nuclear envelope and its associated diseases.
Defects in a cellular structure termed the nuclear envelope are associated with a myriad of diverse diseases, collectively called nuclear envelopathies. Most of these disorders clinically manifest during the first two decades of life and include muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, lipodystrophy, dystonia, neuropathy, skeletal defects, and progeria.
The nuclear envelope is situated at a critical juncture in the cell, both intimately associated with the genome and responsible for connecting it to the rest of the cell. While it is clear that mutations in genes encoding protein constituents of the nuclear envelope underlie these diseases, the exact mechanisms remain largely unknown. In part, these nuclear envelopathies involve a nuclear envelope structure called the LINC-complex that is responsible for linking the nucleoskeleton to the cytoskeleton.
About the Roux Lab
Lab Projects and News
Development and application of BioID
The Roux lab developed BioID to overcome methodological challenges in studies on the structure and function of the nuclear envelope in health and disease. First applied to a disease-associated nuclear lamin, the lab demonstrated that BioID effectively identifies proximate and interacting proteins.
Revealing how cells respond to loss of nuclear envelope barrier function
A primary function of the nuclear envelope is to compartmentalize the nucleus. Loss of this barrier function is increasingly being understood to occur under various pathological conditions and may well be the underlying mechanism of disease for some of the nuclear envelopathies. We are studying the process by which the cell responds to and repairs ruptures of then nuclear envelope.
Uncovering mechanisms of disease for the laminopathies
Using novel techniques, we are currently exploring how mutations in lamin A/C lead a wide variety of disorders. Our aim is to identify differential protein interactions between normal and mutant lamins. The results of these studies may uncover the fundamental mechanisms of laminopathies and reveal new treatment options.
Meet the Roux Lab Team
Charles Halfmann, PhD
Dr. Charles Halfmann’s research career began in 2008 at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota, where he studied metabolic engineering in cyanobacteria for producing biofuels and other high-value chemicals. He also worked at Cyanosun energy, a small start-up company.
Dr. Halfmann earned all three of his degrees at South Dakota State, starting with a bachelor’s degree in 2012, a master of science degree in microbiology in 2014 and a Ph.D. in biological sciences in 2017.
Danielle May, MS
Senior Laboratory Technician
Danielle May started her research career studying the role of stress in Alzheimer’s disease development at the University of California San Diego before moving to the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego to run and maintain several mass spectrometers with the Yates Lab.
May earned both of her degrees at the University of California San Diego, earning a bachelor’s degree in physiology and neuroscience in 2013, and a master’s degree in biology in 2014.
Rhiannon Sears, BA
Rhiannon Sears works in the Roux Lab while she completes work on her dissertation and completes her Ph.D. from the basic biomedical sciences program at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Sears earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota in 2017.
Kelsey Scott, BS
Associate Research Scientists
After earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2018, Kelsey Scott worked as an education researcher for SciTrek, which focused on bringing inquiry-based science experiments to second through eighth-grade classes. While fun and exciting for the students, the experiments also covered specific grade-level standards.