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Natalie Thiex

Natalie Thiex Photo


Assistant Professor

Office Building

Edgar S. McFadden Biostress Lab



Mailing Address

McFadden Biostress Laboratory 251A
Biology & Microbiology-Box 2104D
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


My laboratory studies signal transduction and vesicular trafficking in macrophages. Our mission is to understand how the molecular machines of the cell function in normal and diseased states using fluorescence microscopy and genetic editing techniques.

Within that topic we focus on two lines of research:
• Macrophage foam cells are key mediators of atherosclerotic plaque formation and contribute to the leading cause of death – heart disease. We aim to discover the mechanisms of lipid metabolism and causes of cellular dysfunction in these cells.

• Out-of-control growth signaling is a hallmark of pathogenic cellular phenotypes such as seen in cancer cells. Growth factor signaling is controlled by internalization and destruction of activated growth factor receptors. We are working to understand the cellular molecular machinery driving growth factor receptor trafficking to endosomes and macropinosomes. Specifically, we aim to discover how these vesicles mature, tether and fuse with other vesicles such as lysosomes resulting in the degradation of the receptor and control of the growth signal. By discovering these fundamental intracellular mechanisms, we hope to explain how perturbations in cells lead to diseases such as cancer and heart disease.


20160909 Natalie Thiex Curriculum Vitae2.doc(71.5 KB)


1999 BA, Honors Biology, Concordia College, Moorhead MN
2002 MPH, Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2008 PhD, Toxicology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Academic Interests/Expertise

Mammalian Cell Biology
Signal Transduction
Membrane Trafficking
Fluorescence Microscopy
CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Screening

Academic Responsibilities

BIOL 371 - Genetics
BIOL 470/570 - Cancer Biology
BIOL 490/498 - Undergraduate Research/Capstone Research
BIOL 792 - Special Topics in Cell Biology



Thiex Laboratory Research