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Exploring the molecular basis of pigmentation


IAP and Spring


7: Biology

Faculty Supervisor:

David M. Sabatini

Faculty email:


Apply by:

January 1, 2020


Hank Adelmann - HankAdel@mit.edu

Project Description

Dozens of proteins have been implicated in mammalian pigment variation. Many of these localize to the melanosome, the organelle where melanin pigment is synthesized. We have begun uncovering the molecular function of melanosomal proteins. Students will follow-up on our initial discoveries, using molecular biology and cell culture to uncover the mechanisms whereby naturally occurring variation in melansosomal proteins contributes to pigment variation. The scope of this project is focused. Engaged students will be given substantial responsibility and opportunities for intellectual contribution. Exceptional work over a number of semesters likely will result in a co-authored publication.


7.002 or equivalent.