Jan Lowe has made key contributions to the identification of the bacterial cytoskeleton and to understanding its role in cell division. Prior to his work, bacteria were believed to lack the organised cytoskeleton present in eukaryotes. He discovered that the bacterial proteins FtsZ and MreB resemble tubulin and actin respectively, both in having similar folds and by forming similar filamentous structures. In parallel, he analysed the structure and function of many other proteins involved in septum formation and nucleoid partition. His recent work followed outstanding early work on the structure of the 20S proteasome involved in degradation of misfolded proteins.
Interest and expertise
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology), Biophysics and structural biology