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Gia Voeltz: Redrawing the cell's floor plan

Cell biologist gives the endoplasmic reticulum a makeover

By
10:49am, September 22, 2015
Gia Voeltz headshot

NEW VIEW  Voeltz's research suggests that the ER clings to cellular parts like spider webs wrapped around flies. 

Gia Voeltz, 43
University of Colorado Boulder | Cell biology
Graduate school: Yale

View the video

Gia Voeltz didn’t set out to rewrite biology textbooks. She just wanted to make a movie.

A cell biologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, Voeltz was studying a humble part of the cell called the ER, for endoplasmic reticulum. In illustrations, it’s the pile of wavy lines floating near the nucleus.

The ER might not be as sexy as the DNA-holding nucleus, or as famous as the mitochondria, the cell’s energy powerhouses. But it’s no slouch. It has a respectable job storing calcium. It’s a nice platform for building fats and proteins. Scientists thought they had

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