Khameeka Kitt-Hopper

Overview

Professional Overview: 

Assistant Professor of Biology

Department: 
School of Science » Biology
SMC Email Address: 
Contact Information: 

Brousseau Hall Rm 206 

925-631-4450

Education

2014 Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate in Biology Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

2008 Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Dissertation Title: The Small GTPase Rab14 Regulates Arf1 Activation and Apical Targeting at the Trans-Golgi Network

2002 B.S. in Health Science, Saint Mary's College of California, Moraga, CA

Courses Taught

  • Bio 001: Introduction to Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics
  • Bio13/14: Anatomy for Kinesiology
  • Bio 25/26: Human Physiology
  • Bio 137: Molecular Biology
  • Bio 132: Cellular Biology

Presentations

2016 African American Breast Cancer Conference sponsored by the Stanford Cancer Institure Community Partnership Program (SCI-CPP) "The Cancer Conundrum: Genetics, Environment, or Both?" South San Francisco Conference Center, May 14th, South San Francisco, CA

2015 UCSF Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research (MTPCCR) Program "One Bad Apple Destroys the Crop: Investigating the Connections between Cells, Cancer, and Diagnosis." UCSF Medical Center, June 6th, San Francisco, CA

2015 African American Breast Cancer Conference sponsored by the Stanford Cancer Institure Community Partnership Program (SCI-CPP) "One Bad Apple Destroys the Crop: Investigating the Connections between Cells, Cancer, and Diagnosis." South San Francisco Conference Center, May 2nd, South San Francisco, CA

2013 Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps College
Joint Biology and Physics Colloquium "A Role for Asef in the Maturation and Maintenance of Endothelial Cell-Cell Adhesions." Claremont, CA, November 7th.

2013 African American Breast Cancer Conference sponsored by the Stanford Cancer Institure Community Partnership Program (SCI-CPP) "Cancer Biology at Glance: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." South San Francisco Conference Center, May 4th, South San Francisco, CA

Publications

Bianchini JM, Kitt KN, Gloerich M, Pokutta S, Weis WI, Nelson WJ. Reevaluating αE-catenin monomer and homodimer functions by characterizing E-cadherin/αE-catenin chimeras. J Cell Biol. 2015 Sep 28;210(7):1065-74.

Kitt, K.N. and Nelson, W.J. Rapid Suppression of Activated Rac1 by Cadherins and Nectins during De Novo Cell-Cell Adhesion. PLoS One. 2011 Mar 11;6(3):e17841

McCarter, S.D., Johnson, D.L., Kitt, K.N., Donohue, C., Adams, A. Wilson, J.M. Regulation of tight junction assembly and epithelial polarity by a resident protein of apical endosomes. Traffic. 2010 Jun; 11(6): 856-66

Jelinek, D., Mount Patrick, S., Kitt, K.N., Chan, T., Gordon, F., Garver, W. Physiological and coordinate downregulation of the NPC1 and NPC2 genes are associated with sequestration of LDL-derived cholesterol within endocytic compartments. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 2009 December 1;108(5):1102-16.

Kitt, K.N., Hernandez-Deviez, D., Ballantyne, S.B., Spiliotis, E.T., Casanova, J.E., and Wilson, J.M. Rab14 Regulates apical targeting in polarized epithelial cells. Traffic. 2008 July; 9(7): 1218-1231.

Active Research Projects

Research interests center around the mechanisms of initial cell-cell adhesion and membrane trafficking at the molecular level in mammalian epithelial cells. My current research goals aim to determine how Rho GTPases are involved in stabilizing epithelial cell-cell adhesions and their upstream and downstream binding partners using cell imaging and biochemical techniques. Rho GTPases are molecular switches that can be turned on and off by GEFs (guanine nucleotide exchange factors) and GAPs (GTPase activating proteins), respectively to regulate various cellular processes. Determining the GEFs and GAPs involved in initiating, maturing, and maintaining cell-cell adhesion remains elusive. My current postdoctoral work focuses on the GEF Asef, which appears to have a role in the maturation and maintenance of endothelial (blood vessel) cell-cell adhesion. My current studies aim to determine whether Asef is involved in regulating endothelial adherens junctions, tight junctions, or both.

Honors, Awards & Grants

Awards: 

2016 Notre Dame De Namur University (NDNU) Faculty Development Grant - Project title: Using Anatomical Models to Facilitate Student-Guided Inquiry Learning

2015 Science Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) award from LI-COR Biosciences - for the purchase of an Odyssey Fc Imaging System

2011 American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Poster Award for 2nd place in Postdoctoral Poster Competition, Denver CO

Grants: 

2011-2013 National Institutes of Health F32 NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, awarded by the NIH to Khameeka N. Kitt (Stanford University, Stanford, CA)

2010-2011 Cancer Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship-NIH NRSA Institutional Fellowship, awarded by Stanford University, Stanford, CA