Dr. E. H. Ball

photo of Dr. Eric Ball
Emeritus and Adjunct Professor
B.Sc. Alberta
Ph.D. Western University
Post-doctoral researcher, UCSD

Office: Medical Sciences Building, Rm. 366
Phone: 519.661.2111, ext. 83068
E-mail: ehball@uwo.ca

Regulation of cytoskeletal proteins

My research involves the study of the structure, function, and regulation of vinculin and its cousin, metavinculin. These molecules are intracellular cytoskeletal proteins that form part of cell-cell junctions and of cellular contacts with the extracellular matrix. Vinculin is found in most cells, while metavinculin is muscle specific. Both proteins interact with several cytoskeletal and signalling proteins and change conformation to link signal transduction to structural events. Mutations in these proteins can cause hereditary diseases, notably cardiomyopathies. Vinculin is also used by some bacteria for motility during infection. My lab uses molecular methods to study vinculin structure, conformational changes, and protein interactions. Our research will lead to further understanding of vinculin and metavinculin's roles in normal cell processes, such as cell adhesion and movement, as well as in diseased states, such as cardiomyopathies.