The cell is the basic unit of structure and function in the body. Many of the functions of cells are performed by particular subcellular structures called “organelles”. Acidity (pH balance) is important for organelle function and disruptions in this environment can lead to uncoordinated communication between brain cells, compromised immunity and uncontrolled cell growth or death. Dr. Masayuki Numata is studying the mechanisms for pH regulation in cells. Dr. Masayuki Numata and his research team have isolated ion transporter proteins that may regulate acidity inside organelles. Using biochemical, cell biological, genetic and immunological techniques, he is investigating how these transporters are delivered to the right destination when they are needed and how they are regulated by different factors. The research could ultimately increase understanding of the mechanisms by which brain cells transmit signals to each other and how disruptions in these signaling pathways cause damage leading to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.