British Society for Cell Biology Biochemical Society Member of the Lister Institute
Areas of expertise
My main research interest is in phosphoinositides - dynamic and spatial control of cell signalling.
The membrane phospholipid phosphatidylinositol is the precursor for a family of lipid second-messengers, known collectively as phosphoinositides. Research conducted over the past few decades has established that these lipids, which differ solely in the phosphorylation status of their inositol head group, are crucial components in signalling pathways that lie downstream of cellular stimulation. A major advance in our understanding of phosphoinositide signalling has been the identification of a number of highly conserved modular protein domains that bind various phosphoinositides. To date, a number of distinct, phosphoinositide-binding motifs have been identified and characterised including the ENTH domain, FYVE domain, FERM domain, PH domain and PX domain. Such ‘cut and paste’ modules are found in a diverse array of multidomain proteins and recruit their host protein to specific regions in cells via their interactions with phosphoinositides.