The Komeili Lab
Associate Professor Arash Komeili studies prokaryotic organelles. Organelles are structures in cells that have a specific function. For example, ribosomes are organelles that make proteins in cells. The Komeili Lab focuses on how organelles are produced within cells and how they are maintained. To do this, the lab uses magnetotactic bacteria, a diverse group of bacteria that can orient along magnetic fields. Their magnetic properties are due to special organelles called magnetosomes, which contain nanocrystalline magnetic compounds. Using a variety of biological and chemical tools, the lab identifies and investigates genes involved in controlling organelle formation and function.
Komeili graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biology in 1996 and from the University of San Francisco with a Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 2001. In 2005 he joined the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley where he is now an Associate Professor. He holds an Affiliated Associate Professor Position in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and is a faculty of the UC Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute.
Komeili has been awarded with a number of funds and fellowships including the Winkler Family Fund (2008), the Hellman Family Fund (2008), a Fellowship in Science and Engineering - Packard Foundation (2007) and a Junior Faculty Fellowship - Hellman Family Foundation (2007).