We are a molecular cell biology group with a primary interest in defining how cells respond to extrinsic and intrinsic signals to define cell function. In particular, our research is focused on intracellular kinases such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family that catalyze post-translational phosphorylation modifications on a diverse range of substrates, that include cytoskeletal proteins and transcription factors. These signalling mechanisms are central for initiating and maintaining the fidelity of key cellular processes such as duplication (mitosis), cell death (apoptosis) or fate specification (differentiation). Defects or disruption of these regulatory mechanisms are molecular drivers of human disease which exemplifies the importance of defining how these signalling mechanisms are assembled and orchestrated.

We are particularly interested in how dysregulated kinase signalling can contribute to birth defects associated with rare genetic disorders such as primary microcephaly and the pathology of age-related diseases such as heart failure, cancer and neurodegeneration. Our goal is to provide detailed mechanistic understanding of what goes wrong in disease at the molecular and cellular level with the expectation that this knowledge may trigger new developments or strategies for disease therapy.

Research keywords:

Intracellular Signal Transduction, Mitogen-activated protein kinases, Cytoskeleton, Tissue growth, Cell Division, Cell Survival, Cell Death and Cell Fate Specification.