Donald Orokos

Donald Orokos

Instructional Support Specialist
Department of Biological Sciences

PhD, University at Albany

Donald Orokos
Areas of Interest
  • Cell motility
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Microtubule dynamics
  • Forensic sciences


My research investigates the mechanisms responsible for cell surface transport in Reticulomyxa, a freshwater protozoan. In my research I have found that surface transport of latex beads move bidirectionally and exclusively along the underlying microtubule cytoskeleton in living cells. Furthermore, after lysis of the pseudopodial membrane, both organelle and surface transport can be reactivated with the addition of ATP. In addition, mechanochemical analyses and laser ablation studies suggested that, in Reticulomyxa, the majority of organelles and surface-attached beads are transported by sliding microtubules decorated with cytoplasmic dynein. Reticulomyxa has been an excellent experimental system to study the mechanisms of cellular transport in situ.Recently, I successfully reactivated axoplasmic transport in neurons.

  • Donald D. Orokos, Becoming a Forensic Professional, Chapter 19 in W. Mark Dale and Wendy Becker, 2007. The Crime Scene: How Forensic Science Works. Kaplan Publishing, New York, New York.
  • W. Mark Dale, Owen Greenspan and Donald Orokos. 2007. DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing. SEARCH Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Travis, J.L., E. A. Welnhofer and D. D. Orokos. 2001. Autonomous Reorganization of Foraminiferan Reticulopodia. manuscript in preparation for J. Foram. Res.
  • Orokos, D.D., R. W. Cole and J. L. Travis. 2000. Organelles are transported on sliding microtubules in Reticulomyxa. Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 47(4): 296 - 306. 
  • Orokos, D.D. and J.L. Travis. 1997 Cell surface and Organelle transport share the same enzymatic properties in Reticulomyxa. Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 38: 270 - 277. 
  • Orokos, D.D., S.S. Bowser and J.L. Travis. 1997. Reactivation of cell surface transport in Reticulomyxa. Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 38: 139 - 148. 
  • Orokos, D.D., A.J. DeMarco, R.W. Cole and J.L.Travis. 1997. Sliding microtubules move organelles in Reticulomyxa. Molecular Biology of the Cell 8: 173a. 
  • Orokos, D.D., R. W. Cole and J. L. Travis. 1996. Plasma Membrane Domain and Intracellular Organelle Transport Share a Common Mechanism in Reticulomyxa. Molecular Biology of the Cell 7: 549a. 
  • Orokos, D.D. and J.L. Travis. 1996. Reactivation of Cell Surface Domain Transport in Reticulomyxa. 5th East Coast Conference on Protozoology. Schenectady, NY. 
  • Orokos, D.D., and J. L. Travis. 1995. Membrane Domain Transport Mechanochemistry In Situ: Reactivation of Cell Surface Transport in Reticulomyxa. Molecular Biology of the Cell 6: 370a. 
  • Orokos, D.D. and J.L. Travis. 1993. Cell surface domain transport in Reticulomyxa. 4th East Coast Conference on Protozoa. Oneonta, NY. 
  • Welnhofer, E.P., D.D. Orokos, G. Rupp and J.L. Travis. 1992. Self-organizing cytoplasmic microtubule networks in foraminiferan pseudopodia. Proc. Electron. Microsc. Soc. Amer 50: 586-589.