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The Vale Lab combines cell biological and biophysical approaches to understand the cytoskeleton and more general issues on spatial organization and movement within cells. The lab, which relies heavily on microscopy, studies these questions at different scales and using different techniques. At the smallest scale, we wish to understand the workings of protein machines. A particular focus has been on microtubule-based "motor proteins", 10-50 nm size proteins, that convert energy from ATP hydrolysis into unidirectional motion and force. However, we also are studying the mechanism of other types of proteins, such as microtubule severing proteins, proteins that localize dynamically to growing plus ends of microtubules (+TIPs), and motor regulatory proteins.