Kenneth A. Jacobson

Kenneth A. Jacobson, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Jacobson Lab is interested in basic problems in cancer cell biology.

UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Cell Biology

Area of interest

Our laboratory is interested in two basic problems in cell biology.

The first concerns the fundamental microstructure of membranes, what factors determine the lateral mobility of membrane proteins and lipids, and how such mobility is related to the functions that membranes carry out. To investigate this problem we use a combination of video microscopic and molecular biology techniques.

The second area of research is the problem of how cells move. This research is relevant, for example, to the aberrant cell motility exhibited in metastasis and to transendothelial cell migration involved in aspects of the inflammatory response.

Awards and Honors

We have shown that raft-like domains can be reconstituted and visualized in model membranes with many of the properties postulated for lipid rafts in cell membranes and discovered one raft candidate in cell membranes.

We have hypothesized, with Richard Anderson, the existence of the ‘lipid shell’ to explain controversial data in the raft field.

We demonstrated that two photomanipulative techniques, photoactivation of caged actin binding proteins and GFP-mediated chromophore assisted laser inactivation (CALI) could be applied to single migrating cells.

We demonstrated for the first time that the kinase, JNK, phosphorylates cytoplasmic targets and these targets can regulate cell migration. This has implications for the aberrant cell movement involved in metastasis.

I have been elected Chair of the Membrane Structure and Assembly Subgroup of the Biophysical Society for 2004 and appointed Chair of the 2004 Biophysical Discussions in Asilomar on “Probing Membrane Microdomain

Link to Publications on Reach NC site

Find Publications on PubMed