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William T. Wickner, MD

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Harvard Medical School, MD 1973
Yale University, BA 1967

Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs


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Contact Information

Dartmouth Medical School
HB 7200
Hanover NH 03755

Professional Interests

Regulated fusion of membranes is essential for biological processes as diverse as neurotransmission, cell growth, and hormone secretion. The fundamental mechanism has been conserved among all membranes that fuse and all organisms, from yeast to humans. We study the fusion of yeast vacuoles for its unparalleled technical advantages: 1. The organelle can be purified and stored in quantity. 2. We have a rapid, colorimetric assay of in vitro vacuole fusion. 3. The superb genetics and genomics of this organism. Our studies combine structural, genetic, and enzymological approaches, and are leading to a molecular understanding of this basic process.

Selected Publications


  • Song, H., Orr, A., Lee, M., Harner, M., and Wickner, W. (2020) HOPS recognizes each SNARE, assembling ternary trans-SNARE complexes for rapid fusion upon engagement with the 4th SNARE. eLife, DOI 10.7554/eLife.53559.

  • Torng, T., Song, H. and Wickner, W. (2020) Asymmetric Rab activation of vacuolar HOPS to catalyze SNARE complex assembly. Mol. Biol. Cell, DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E20-01-0019.

  • Eitzen, G., Will, E., Gallwitz, D., Haas, A., and Wickner, W. (2001). Sec17/Sec18 can support membrane fusion without help from completion of SNARE pairing. eLife, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.67578.