Lin Deng

  • Moseley Lab '15

  • Junior Principal Investigator, Shenzhen Bay Laboratory

I graduated from the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program at Dartmouth in 2015, receiving my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from James Moseley's lab. During my PhD work, I used fission yeast as a model system to study cell size control and cellular response to nutrient starvation. From this work, I published 4 first-author papers. First, I identified a new mitotic inhibitor that forms stable megadalton structures at the plasma membrane (Deng and Moseley, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2013 and Deng et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2014). This work uncovered new aspects of the spatial control system that links cell growth with cell cycle progression. In my second project, I found that a master protein kinase Ssp1 (ortholog of the human tumor suppressor LKB1) promotes mitotic entry by activating the mitotic inducer Cdr2. This activation is coupled to cell size through another protein kinase called Pom1, which phosphorylates the C-terminal tail of Cdr2 to prevent activation by Ssp1 (Deng et al., Current Biology, 2014). In a third work, I discovered that Ssp1 also activates the cellular energy sensor AMPK. Interestingly, different signals cause Ssp1 to activate Cdr2 versus AMPK (Deng et al., Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2017). I appreciate that my work was recognized by the John H. Copenhaver, Jr. and William H. Thomas, MD 1952 Fellowship, E. Lucile Smith Award for Excellence in Biochemistry, and Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad.

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