Source: Interfolio F180

Keren Lasker

Assistant Professor
Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Immunology & Microbiology
Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences

Research Focus

We study the biology of membraneless organelles (MLOs) in bacteria and use these findings to engineer synthetic MLOs in higher order organisms.

Biomolecular condensate formation by phase separation has emerged as a new principle to explain the dynamic organization of living cells. We have uncovered an essential bacterial MLO, defined by liquid-liquid phase separation of the disordered protein PopZ, that is conserved across the extremely diverse and abundant a-proteobacteria.

  • Our lab is studying the structure, dynamics, and function of PopZ phase separation in the context of adaptation to environmental challenges.
  • We use this knowledge to engineer synthetic MLOs for interrogating properties and function of phase separation in human cell lines, as well as for therapeutic application


Ph.D. (Computer Science), Tel-Aviv University, 2012
M.Sc.  (Computer Science), Tel-Aviv University, 2006
B.Sc. (Mathematics and Computer Science), Tel-Aviv University, 2000

Professional Experience

2021-Present Assistant Professor, Scripps Research

Awards & Professional Activities

2023 Faculty Scholar Program, Donald E. & Delia B. Baxter Foundation
2018 Finalist, Burroughs Wellcome Fund's Career Award
2014 Stanford Systems Biology Seed Grant
2013 EMBO Long-Term Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research
2013 Life Science Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
2013 Weizmann Institute of Science - National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science
2012 3DSig Annual Meeting, Best Paper Award
2009 Excellence Prize of PhD Students, School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University
2008 Charles Clore Foundation Fellowship
2007 Excellence Prize for PhD Students, School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University
2006 Edmond J. Safra Scholarship for Bioinformatics Studies

Selected Publications

Goodsell, David S.; Lasker, Keren Integrative Visualization of the Molecular Structure of a Cellular Microdomain.. Protein Science 2023, 32, e4577.

Lasker, Keren; Boeynaems, Steven; Lam, Vinson; Scholl, Daniel; Stainton, Emma; Briner, Adam; Jacquemyn, Maarten; Daelemans, Dirk; Deniz, Ashok; Villa, Elizabeth; Holehouse, Alex S.; Gitler, Aaron D.; Shapiro, Lucy The material properties of a bacterial-derived biomolecular condensate tune biological function in natural and synthetic systems. Nature communications 2022, 13, 5643.

Lasker, Keren; von Diezmann, Lexy; Zhou, Xiaofeng; Ahrens, Daniel G.; Mann, T H.; Moerner, W E.; Shapiro, Lucy Selective sequestration of signalling proteins in a membraneless organelle reinforces the spatial regulation of asymmetry in Caulobacter crescentus. Nature Microbiology 2020, 5, 418-429.

Watanabe, Reika; Buschauer, Robert; Böhning, Jan; Audagnotto, Martina; Lasker, Keren; Lu, Tsan- W.; Boassa, Daniela; Taylor, Susan; Villa, Elizabeth The In Situ Structure of Parkinson's Disease-Linked LRRK2. Cell 2020, 182, 1508-1518.e16.

Lasker, Keren; Mann, T H.; Shapiro, Lucy An intracellular compass spatially coordinates cell cycle modules in Caulobacter crescentus. Current opinion in microbiology 2016, 33, 131-139.

Lasker, Keren; Förster, Friedrich; Bohn, Stefan; Walzthoeni, Thomas; Villa, Elizabeth; Unverdorben, Pia; Beck, Florian; Aebersold, Ruedi; Sali, Andrej; Baumeister, Wolfgang Molecular architecture of the 26S proteasome holocomplex determined by an integrative approach. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012, 109, 1380-7.