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Nancy Jo Pokrywka Professor of Biology and Director of Science, Technology and Society

The proper functioning of many cells depends on the subcellular organization of organelles, proteins, and mRNAs. The cytoskeleton plays a central role in establishing cell polarity and in the localization of important RNAs and proteins, but the molecular details of most localization events are elusive. We are interested in the ways in which cytoskeletal regulation and reorganization can lead to the asymmetrical distribution of RNAs and proteins and to modulation of cell function in general. To investigate these questions we use the developing Drosophila oocyte as a model system. Research in the lab uses a variety of genetic and cell biology techniques, including antibody staining, confocal microscopy, genetic analysis, and computer image acquisition and analysis.

  • BS, Stonehill College; MS, PhD, University of Rochester
  • At Vassar since 1994

Contact

Research and Academic Interests

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Reproductive Bioethics

Courses

  • BIOL 218. Cellular Structure and Function
  • STS 222. Bioethics of Human Reproduction
  • BIOL 386. Stem Cell Biology

Selected Publications

  • Starble*, R. and N.J. Pokrywka (2018). The retromer subunit Vps26 mediates Notch signaling during Drosophila oogenesis. Mechanisms of Development 149: 1-8.
  • Pokrywka, N.J., H. Zhang*, K. Raley-Susman (2014). Distinct roles for hu li tai shao and swallow in cytoskeletal organization during Drosophila oogenesis. Dev Dynamics 243: 906-916.
  • Pokrywka, N.J. (2013). Live Imaging of GFP-labeled Proteins in Drosophila Oocytes. J. Vis. Exp. (73), e50044, doi:10.3791/50044 Link
  • Brody*, A. H., E. Chou*, J.M. Gray, N.J. Pokrywka, and K.M. Raley-Susman (2013) Mancozeb-induced behavioral deficits precede structural neural degeneration. Neurotoxicology. 34: 74-81. Link
  • Pokrywka, N.J., A. Payne-Tobin*, K.M. Raley-Susman, and S. Swartzman*. (2009). Microtubules, the ER and Exu: New associations revealed by analysis of mini spindles mutations. Mechanisms of Development 126: 289-300. Link
  • Gordon*, P., L. Hingula*, M.L. Krasny*, J.L. Swienckowski*, N.J. Pokrywka, and K.M. Raley-Susman. (2008). The invertebrate microtubule-associated protein PTL-1 functions in mechanosensation and development in Caenorhabditis elegans. Development Genes & Evolution 218: 541-551. Link

* student author

Photos

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Photo: John Abbott / Vassar College
  • BS 1987, Biology, Stonehill College
  • MS 1989, Biology, University of Rochester
  • PhD 1992, Biology, University of Rochester

Research Interests

The proper functioning of many cells depends on the subcellular organization of organelles, proteins, and mRNAs. The cytoskeleton plays a central role in establishing cell polarity and in the localization of important RNAs and proteins, but the molecular details of most localization events are elusive. We are interested in the ways in which cytoskeletal regulation and reorganization can lead to the asymmetrical distribution of RNAs and proteins and to modulation of cell function in general. To investigate these questions we use the developing Drosophila oocyte as a model system. Research in the lab uses a variety of genetic and cell biology techniques, including antibody staining, confocal microscopy, genetic analysis, and computer image acquisition and analysis.

Teaching Interests

Introductory Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering (in the STS program), Bioethics of Human Reproduction (in the STS program)