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Benjamin  Myers

Phone: 801-213-6246
Office: HCI Research North 5343

Benjamin Myers

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Oncological Sciences
Adjunct assistant professor, Dept. of Bioengineering
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Bioengineering

Current Research

Transmembrane Signaling in Development and Disease
In multicellular organisms, cell-cell communication is tightly controlled to ensure proper development and prevent diseases such as cancer. Our lab studies a key aspect of this process: how extracellular signals are transmitted across the membrane to the cell interior. ​We are tackling this problem using protein / lipid biochemistry, protein engineering, and novel optical and electrical sensors of key signal transduction events. ​A better understanding of transmembrane signaling will teach us how cellular identity is specified during development and in post-embryonic tissues, and help us to design better therapies for an array of malignancies.

Selected Publications

Myers BR, Neahring L, Zhang Y, Roberts KJ, Beachy PA, Rapid, direct activity assays for Smoothened reveal Hedgehog pathway regulation by membrane cholesterol and extracellular sodium. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 Dec 26;114(52):E11141-E11150

Sweeney RT, McClary AC, Myers BR, Biscocho J, Neahring L, Kwei KA, Qu K, Gong X, Ng T, Jones CD, Varma S, Odegaard JI, Sugiyama T, Koyota S, Rubin BP, Troxell ML, Pelham RJ, Zehnder JL, Beachy PA, Pollack JR, West RB, Identification of recurrent SMO and BRAF mutations in ameloblastomas. Nat Genet 2014 Jul;46(7):722-5

Myers BR, Sever N, Chong YC, Kim J, Belani JD, Rychnovsky S, Bazan JF, Beachy PA, Hedgehog pathway modulation by multiple lipid binding sites on the smoothened effector of signal response. Dev Cell 2013 Aug 26;26(4):346-57

Myers BR, Sigal YM, Julius D, Evolution of thermal response properties in a cold-activated TRP channel. PLoS One 2009 May 29;4(5):e5741

Myers BR, Saimi Y, Julius D, Kung C, Multiple unbiased prospective screens identify TRP channels and their conserved gating elements. J Gen Physiol 2008 Nov;132(5):481-6

Prober DA, Zimmerman S, Myers BR, McDermott BM Jr, Kim SH, Caron S, Rihel J, Solnica-Krezel L, Julius D, Hudspeth AJ, Schier AF, Zebrafish TRPA1 channels are required for chemosensation but not for thermosensation or mechanosensory hair cell function. J Neurosci 2008 Oct 1;28(40):10102-10

Myers BR, Bohlen CJ, Julius D, A yeast genetic screen reveals a critical role for the pore helix domain in TRP channel gating. Neuron 2008 May 8;58(3):362-73

Myers BR, Julius D, TRP channel structural biology: new roles for an old fold. Neuron 2007 Jun 21;54(6):847-50

Desai BN, Myers BR, Schreiber SL, FKBP12-rapamycin-associated protein associates with mitochondria and senses osmotic stress via mitochondrial dysfunction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Apr 2;99(7):4319-24