Dr Kai Erdmann

Department of Biomedical Science

Senior Lecturer

Director: PG Affairs Committee (PGAC)

  • 2012-present: Senior Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield
  • 2006-2012: Privatdozent, Group leader, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 2005-2006: Research Associate, Yale University School of Medicine, USA
  • 2003-2005: Feodor Lynen Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt foundation), Yale University School of Medicine, USA
  • 1998-2003: Junior group leader, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 1996-1998: Postdoctoral work, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 1993-1996: PhD, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 1987-1992: Diploma, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Research interests

Membrane trafficking and signalling in polarised cells. Role of multi-PDZ domain proteins in cancer formation, metastasis and tumor invasion

Our group is interested in the regulation of membrane trafficking and its relation to human diseases. In particular we are interested in the molecular mechanism leading to Lowe syndrome, a X-linked disease characterized by congenital cataracts, mental retardation and kidney failure. Moreover, we analyze the molecular function of multi-PDZ domain proteins (PTPN13 and FRMPD2) in vesicular trafficking and signal transduction as well as their role in cancer development and progression.

Biochemical and mechanochemical mechanisms of epithelial cell polarisation

Cell polarity is at the crossroads of differentiation and growth, and loss of cell polarity is a hallmark of cancer and other relevant diseases. Our group is interested in the regulation of cell polarization and its relation to human diseases. In particular, we analyze the molecular function of multi-PDZ domain proteins (PTPN13/PTP-BL and FRMPD2) in epithelial cell polarization as well as their role in cancer development and progression. PTPN13 and FRMPD2 are closely related and represent members of a small family of peripheral membrane proteins containing multiple PDZ domains as well as a FERM domain.

Both proteins are strongly expressed in epithelial cells. PTPN13 assembles an apical protein complex, whereas FRMPD2 organizes a protein complex at the basolateral membrane in epithelial cells. PTPN13 is involved in carcinogenesis and mediates resistance to Fas induced apoptosis by an unknown mechanism. FRMPD2 has recently been identified by our group and plays a role in cell/cell adhesion regulation. We are identifying PTPN13- and FRMPD2- protein complexes and based on this suggesting a potential role in intracellular membrane trafficking and cell adhesion for both proteins.

We analyze corresponding molecular mechanisms of cell polarization in 2D and 3D epithelial cell culture systems and have recently introduced chip-based micropatterning to control cell polarization by mechanical means. In addition, we analyze our target proteins in vivo using zebra fish as a model system.


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Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Yu F, Hagemann N, Ackermann N & Erdmann KS (2014) Protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPN13 and its interaction partner SDCCAG3 are involved in the regulation of cytokinesis. FEBS JOURNAL, Vol. 281 (pp 78-78) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Skowronek A, Hagemann N & Erdmann KS (2014) FERM and PDZ domain containing protein 2 regulates epithelial cell polariZation. FEBS JOURNAL, Vol. 281 (pp 197-197) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group


  • Jochen Guck Technical University, Dresden, Germany
Teaching activities

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules


  • BMS110 Research Topics in Biomedicine
  • BMS301 Membrane Receptors
  • BMS376 Membrane Trafficking
  • Level 3 Practical and Dissertation Modules

MSc (Masters)

  • BMS6082 Practical Cell Biology
Professional activities
  • Coordinator of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) TRANSPOL
  • Visiting scientist Yale University School of Medicine (Sept/Oct. 2011)
  • Eurotrans-Bio (ETB) Award (2011) (consortium)
  • Feodor Lynen postdoctoral fellow (Alexander von Humboldt foundation) (2003-2005)

We advertise PhD opportunities (Funded or Self-Funded) on FindAPhD.com

For further information about these projects and how to apply at Sheffield, see our PhD Opportunities page.