Karin Reinisch, PhD

Yale School of Medicine

Karin M. Reinisch, PhD, graduated from Harvard summa cum laude, majoring in chemistry. She stayed at Harvard to train as a structural biologist under the supervision of William N. Lipscomb and later Stephen C. Harrison. She started her own laboratory at Yale in 2001, focusing on molecular mechanisms in cell and membrane biology. Earlier work from her group elucidated how Rab GTPases are activated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors. Recently, her group has been investigating the molecular underpinnings of membrane lipid homeostasis, including how lipid kinases and phosphatases regulate levels of phosphoinositide signaling lipids and how lipids are exchanged between organelle membranes by lipid transfer proteins. Together, with long-time collaborator Pietro De Camilli, her group discovered a new family of transfer proteins that function as bridges for lipids to traverse the cytosolic space between organelles. Her honors include a Pew Scholar Award in 2002 and an NIH MIRA award in 2019.