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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Investigating the mechanisms of membrane traffic and cell signalling

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Autophagy is a major intracellular catabolic pathway that degrades damaged organelles, misfolded proteins, and intracellular pathogens, as well as functions to maintain cell homeostasis during times of starvation or stress. The autophagy pathway requires the input of multiple signals and the coordination of discrete protein complexes required for autophagosome formation and its subsequent intracellular trafficking to ensure proper maturation and fusion with the degradative organelle the lysosome. This pathway is essential for proper degradation and recycling of cytosolic cargo.

Autophagy is an essential intracellular degradation pathway, which is dysregulated in a variety of diseases, such as cancer and neurodegeneration, thus implicating it as a valuable therapeutic target. This project will investigate the role of primary regulators of autophagy alongside adaptor proteins implicated in functioning across the endoctyic and autophagic pathways in order to understand their collective function in regulating cell signalling and modulating phenotypic alterations associated with cell morphogenesis. This will entail using cell biological and biochemical approaches to delineate their cellular and molecular mechanisms during these interconnected pathways.

Funding: The Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust & Biological Sciences

Funding dates: October 2015 – September 2018

Related research groups

Biomedical Sciences
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