Lauren Parker Jackson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United KingdomB.S., Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Office Address
465 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
Mechanisms of coat assembly and function in membrane trafficking and human disease.

The Jackson lab studies structures and functions of important protein complexes that initiate cellular trafficking pathways. We focus on the adaptor protein 4 (AP4), coat protein complex I (COPI), and retromer complexes and their roles in both fundamental cell biology and human disease. Each coat functions as a “hub” to recognize cargo and to coordinate large protein networks that drive regulated formation of vesicles or tubules at precise donor membranes. We use biochemical, biophysical, and structural methods to address at the molecular level how these coats interact with protein and lipid partners to regulate coat assembly and to sort important cargoes to different destinations. We use mechanistic data to address functional relevance of coat proteins in cultured cell lines or in yeast. We are working towards using this molecular knowledge to develop models of neurological disease, since AP4 and retromer are specifically linked with neurological disorders and neurodegenerative disease.
Research Keywords
membrane trafficking; vesicle coats; structural biology; X-ray crystallography; cryo-EM; NMR; biochemistry; cell biology; brain disease
Davies AK, Itzhal DN, Edgar JR, Archuleta TL, Hirst J, Jackson LP, Robinson MS, Borner GHH, et al. AP-4 vesicles contribute to spatial control of autophagy via RUSC-dependent peripheral delivery of ATG9A. Nature Comm. 2018; 27.

Xu P, Hankins HM, MacDonald C, Erlinger SJ, Frazier MN, Diab NS, Piper RC, Jackson LP, MacGurn JA, Graham TR. COPI mediates recycling of an exocytic SNARE by recognition of a ubiquitin sorting signal. Elife. 2017 Oct 10/23/2017; 6: PMID: 29058666, PMCID: PMC5663479, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.28342, ISSN: 2050-084X.

Archuleta TL, Frazier MN, Monken AE, Kendall AK, Harp J, McCoy AJ, Creanza N, Jackson LP. Structure and evolution of ENTH and VHS/ENTH-like domains in tepsin. Traffic. 2017 Sep; 18(9): 590-603. PMID: 28691777, DOI: 10.1111/tra.12499, ISSN: 1600-0854.

Frazier MN, Jackson LP. Watching real-time endocytosis in living cells. J. Cell Biol [print-electronic]. 2017 Jan 1/2/2017; 216(1): 9-11. PMID: 28007916, PMCID: PMC5223616, PII: jcb.201611115, DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201611115, ISSN: 1540-8140.

Frazier MN, Davies AK, Voehler M, Kendall AK, Borner GH, Chazin WJ, Robinson MS, Jackson LP. Molecular Basis for the Interaction Between AP4 ß4 and its Accessory Protein, Tepsin. Traffic [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr; 17(4): 400-15. PMID: 26756312, PMCID: PMC4805503, DOI: 10.1111/tra.12375, ISSN: 1600-0854.

Jackson LP. Structure and mechanism of COPI vesicle biogenesis. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol [print-electronic]. 2014 Aug; 29: 67-73. PMID: 24840894, PII: S0955-0674(14)00051-9, DOI: 10.1016/, ISSN: 1879-0410.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 2/21/2017



Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

The Jackson Lab is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic postdoc to join our team to work on structures and functions of non-clathrin coat complexes in membrane trafficking and human disease. We employ a range of techniques in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, and cell biology to investigate cargo recognition, assembly, and regulation of coats. We aim to understand both the fundamental cell biology of how coats mediate trafficking events and pathways, as well as the molecular bases for neurological diseases associated with mutated coats.

 This position may suit a cell biologist or neuroscientist seeking to learn modern structural methods (X-ray crystallography, NMR, cryo-EM) or a biochemist or structural biologist wanting to extend his/her repertoire to include cell biology methods. Experience in molecular cloning, protein expression, and protein purification from E. coli is preferred. Previous structural or tissue culture experience is not required but may be advantageous.

Please send a CV, cover letter, and three letters of recommendation to Lauren ( We will consider candidates until the position is filled. The tentative start date is July 1, 2017. The Jackson lab is Funded by the NIH and Pew Charitable Trusts, and the lab is affiliated with the Vanderbilt Center for Structural Biology, Vanderbilt Brain Institute, and Epithelial Biology Center. We are located in Nashville, TN, a vibrant mid-sized city with fantastic neighborhoods, restaurants, cafés, music, parks, and outdoor activities. For current and previous work, check out our website at or contact Lauren directly.