Research themes

Our interdisciplinary research brings together experts from several departments with a focus on a number of core research themes.


Endocytosis and cytoskeleton

Transport into cells comes in different forms, and with its own set of machinery. The actin cytoskeleton can facilitate internalisation of material as well as its subsequent sorting inside the cell.

Within this focus, members are investigating cargo sorting, regulation of actin at the plasma membrane that drives vesicle formation, as well as cell motility, migration and adaptation to the environment.

Core researchers:

Signaling in membrane trafficking

Work within this theme aims to understand the regulation of membrane trafficking, communication between cellular compartments and how its deregulation can lead to disease.

Other aspects include identifying the machinery key in signaling, and cross-talk with other cellular pathways such as autophagy.

Core researchers:

Exocytosis and secretion

Trafficking of molecules out of cells is key for many aspects of cellular regulation. Understanding the machinery that carries out exocytosis is the main focus of groups within this theme.

Other aspects include post-translational modification and packaging of secreted proteins, and conditions that lead to aberrant modification of proteins causing disease states.

Core researchers:

Trafficking of pathogens

Work within this theme aims to understand trafficking of a wide variety of bacteria and viruses; the complex host-pathogen interaction; and the mechanism by which pathogens can exploit host defense for survival that leads to persistence of the pathogen, and disease states. This includes microbial killing and regulation of the inflammatory response.

Core researchers:

Specialised cell development/maintenance

This theme focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation and function of membranes and membrane trafficking, in specialised cells such as neurons and cilia. This includes polarisation of cells, neuronal development and transport in health and disease.

Groups use a number of model organisms, including zebrafish.

Core researchers:

Translation towards the clinic

Translation of basic cell biology knowledge to specialised cells within an organism is key to understanding disease states and developing therapeutics.

Within the translation group, work includes understanding nerve cell death in diseases, development of neuronal signal blockers, medicines for chronic pain, anti-cancer biological drugs  and anti-inflammatory treatment.

Core researchers:

ITN-BIOPOL - Horizon 2020

CMIAD is coordinating the EU-funded international research consortium “ITN-BIOPOL”. BIOPOL aims to understand the tight interplay of cell mechanics and biochemical signalling in polarised cells, and its relevance to human disease.

Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics - logo

Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics

Bringing cell biologists, physical scientists, computational biologists and clinicians together, with the ultimate aim of developing improved therapies.