Cell Signalling Laboratory

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I am part of the Oncology, Membrane Traffic and Signaling grouping in the Physiological Laboratory. I am also Director of the Biomedical Electron Microscopy Unit.

My research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the BBSRC and North West Cancer Research.

My main interests lie in understanding how subcellular location of signalling cascades regulates their outcomes. Cell signalling regulates key cellular functions including cell division, death, migration and differentiation and many pathways are controlled by Ras proteins. Mutations causing hyper-activation of Ras are potent promoters of cancer. We use Ras as a model system because all mammalian cells contain 3 almost identical versions of Ras: H-Ras, K-Ras and N-Ras. Despite this, these proteins are known to generate different biological outputs. One possible explanation for these differences lies in their different microlocalisation within the cell surface and internal organelles allowing them to access different pools of activators and downstream signalling molecules.


Current projects in the lab are concerned with:

* Nanoscale organisation of cell surface signalling domains

* Endogenous isoform-specific Ras signalling and oncogenic Ras signalling.

* Kinome responses to oncogenic Ras signalling.

* Electron microscopy collaborative projects: biofunctionalising nanoparticles, growth factor receptor trafficking and sorting, proteins regulating endosome architecture, neuronal function and mitosis.

We use a wide variety of in vitro approaches to study different aspects of Ras signalling. A recently developed capacity is in the use of quantitative SILAC proteomics to investigate the Ras signalling network rather than only focus on one or two pathways.



Latest news
PhD and Post-doc opportunities available, contact me for details

Group members
Veronica Aran, Alison Beckett, Maria Hernandez-Valladares, Craig Mageean, Anna Newlaczyl

Key collaborators
I share lab space and several projects with Mike Clague, Sylvie Urbe and Judy Coulson.

Productive long term interactions exist with the Royle lab investigating mitotic spindle assembly and with the Brust lab developing novel biofunctionalised nano materials.