Research Projects

There are three research areas which our laboratory is interested in:

We are interested in proteins that are involved in three key signalling pathways in cancer: small GTPase signalling, cell adhesion & polarity, and calcium homeostasis. Our main focus is to understand how genetic alterations affect the 3D structures of proteins and deregulate their associated signalling pathways. Our experimental tools include NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging microscopy. NMR, X-ray, and cryo-EM enable us to determine atomic-resolution 3D structures of key molecular players and analyze the dynamics and kinetics of their interactions, while in-cell FRET and TIRF microscopy let us visualize where and how the signalling molecules work in the cell in response to a stimulus. We combine structural and biochemical analyses with functional studies on mammalian cell lines and model organisms using advanced technologies such as gene knock-out and RNAi-based gene silencing. We believe that our molecular studies of cancer cell signalling will contribute to a deeper understanding of this life-threatening human disease. More specific projects within these areas are summarized below.