B lymphocytes, cell signaling, intercellular communication, protein dynamics, imaging
I am interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune cell activation. Over the last decade the ability to resolve biochemical events within individual cells has transformed our view of intracellular signalling and provided vital spatio-temporal information about the activation of cell surface receptors. What has emerged is that the organization and dynamics of cell surface receptors plays a critical role in directing cell signalling and effector cell fate. My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms controlling the organization and dynamics of immune cell receptors and the functional significance for immune cell activation through the development and implementation of cutting edge optical microscopy. My current research investigates the potential for extracellular regulatory mechanisms for receptor organization, such as glycan-based domains generated by the binding of galectins to cell surface glycoproteins. The galectins are a family of lectins that can bind -galactoside on cell surface glycoproteins to form an extracellular molecular lattice. My laboratory uses advanced optical microscopy techniques, including Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and super-resolution microscopy, to explore how these cell-surface scaffolding proteins could modulate the interaction, function and turnover of immune cell glycoproteins.