Research themes and groupings
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.
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:
- Dr Mark Collins (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Barbara Ciani (Chemistry)
- Dr Kai Erdmann (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Chun Guo (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Ewald Hettema (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)
- Dr Elena Rainero (Biomedical Science)
- Professor David Strutt (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Martin Zeidler (Biomedical Science)
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.
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.
- Dr Natalia Bulgakova (Biomedical Science)
- Professor Bazbek Davletov (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Andrew Furley (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Andrew Grierson (Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience)
- Dr Jarema Malicki (Biomedical Science)
- Professor Nick Monk (SoMaS)
- Dr Anton Nikolaev (Biomedical Science)
Translation towards the clinic
Translation of basic cell biology knowledge to specialized 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.
- Dr Mark Bass (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Ashley Cadby (Physics and Astronomy)
- Professor Alison Condliffe (Infection and Immunity)
- Dr Chun Guo (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Jason King (Biomedical Science)
- Dr Kurt De Vos (Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience)
- Professor Nick Monk (School of Mathematics and Statistics)
- Dr Lisa Parker (Infection and Immunity)