Michael Tibbetts

Michael Tibbetts

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Michael Tibbetts is a Professor of Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 at Bard College
Bard College
Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

, Annandale-on-Hudson
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Annandale-on-Hudson is a hamlet in Dutchess County, New York, USA, in the Hudson Valley in the town of Red Hook, across the Hudson River from Kingston....

, New York, 12504.

Degrees and Professional Interests

B.S., Southeastern Massachusetts University; Ph.D., Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

. Teaching assistant, Peterson Fellowship, Wesleyan University. Adjunct lecturer, postdoctoral fellow, University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

. Member of Sigma Xi
Sigma Xi
Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society is a non-profit honor society which was founded in 1886 at Cornell University by a junior faculty member and a handful of graduate students. Members elect others on the basis of their research achievements or potential...

, Genetics Society of America
Genetics Society of America
The Genetics Society of America is a scholarly membership society of more than 4000 genetics researchers and educators, established in 1931...

, American Society of Microbiology. Professional interests: cellular events that lead to appropriate spatial organization of subcellular material. Faculty, Bard Center for Environmental Policy. (1992– ) Associate Professor of Biology.


  • Subcellular Biology
  • Eukaryotic Genetics, Bioethics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology
  • Cancer Biology


Cytoskeletal dynamics are key to issues like the appropriate spatial organization of subcellular material and cell shape changes. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, actin filaments are the major structural component of the cytoskeleton. Profilin is an actin monomer binding protein that has been implicated in the control of actin polymerization and signal transduction; perhaps linking the two.

With several of his students, he has been attempting to characterize the PTM1 gene and its protein product at the molecular and cellular level. Thus far theyvehas discovered that yeast cells in which the PTM1 gene has been removed appear normal under all conditions tested. They have also found another gene, PTM2, with a predicted amino acid sequence strikingly similar to that of PTM1, suggesting functional redundancy. It turns out that cells lacking both PTM1 & PTM2 are also indistinguishable from cells containing both genes.

While continuing to explore the link between profilin, PTM1 and PTM2, he has also begun performing genetic screens to identify genes that interact with PTM1 and/or PTM2. In addition to the molecular genetic approach, the lab is also using biochemical and cell biological approaches to look at the protein products of these two genes.

Selected publications

  • Ohya, Y., B.E. Caplan, H. Qadota, M.F. Tibbetts, Y. Anraku, J.R. Pringle, and M.S. Marshall. 1996. Mutational analysis of the gamma-subunit of yeast geranylgeranyl transferase I. Mol Gen Genet 252:1-10.
  • Tibbetts, M., M. Donovan, S. Roe, A.M. Stiltner, and C.I. Hammond. 1994. KIN1 and KIN2 protein kinases localize to the cytoplasmic face of the yeast plasma membrane. Exp Cell Res 213:93-99.
  • Tibbetts, M.F. and R. Nichols. (1993) Immunocytochemistry of sequence-related neuropeptides in Drosophila. Neuropeptides, 24(6): 321-325.