The James Lab is focused on the application of fluorescent strategies to understand processes fundamental to neuroscience. In particular, we are interested in the roles of LRRK2, SNX sorting proteins, and FGF in cellular trafficking and signaling related to neurodegeneration. We use a combination of in vitro and in vivo studies to study the biophysics of these proteins. Using fluorescence spectroscopy, we can discover the nature of the folding, binding, and enzymatic activity of the protein. We can build on this description of the protein by transfecting living cells (neurons) with the gene for the protein accompanied by a fluorescent tag. We can monitor and track this fluorescent partner and characterize the biophysics of the protein in a living cell. Using fluorimetry and other contemporary wetlab techniques, our lab seeks to understand molecular mechanisms related to Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and Diabetes.