Dr. Gardner received her BA in Biochemistry from Middlebury College and her PhD in Biochemistry from UC San Francisco in the lab of Dr. Peter Walter. As a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley, Dr. Gardner worked in Dr. Andreas Martin’s lab investigating the role of AAA-ATPase motor proteins in peroxisome biogenesis. She joined the MCDB faculty at UC Santa Barbara in 2019.
One of the defining features of eukaryotic cells is the presence of membrane-bound organelles, which divide the interior of the cell into compartments that can be specialized for specific chemical reactions. While organelles allow the cell to create distinct environments, they also create new challenges for the cell – such as the biogenesis, growth, division, and specialization of the organelle. In the Gardner Lab, we focus on how the cell has solved these challenges for a metabolic organelle, the peroxisome. Using biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics, our ultimate goal is to understand how the cell uses approximately 30 dedicated Pex proteins to make a peroxisome de novo.