Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health



The study of the proteins that control communication within and between cells

Nerve cross sectionWhat is signalling?

We study the proteins that control communication within and between cells. They make up the signalling pathways that regulate how cells develop and respond to their environment, and are critical for ensuring the lifelong health and wellbeing of an individual.

A common theme in all pathways is that key information is carried into the cell by molecules called lipids, which interact with various enzymes, each regulating different pathways.

A major focus of our research is the activity of the PI3Kinase enzymes, critical for a number of cellular functions, including movement, growth and survival.

PeyersWhy is it important?

One of the keys to understanding lifelong health is to understand the signalling pathways that operate inside cells and govern key fate decisions such as cell death, cell survival, cell division or cell senescence.

Ageing results in part from the imbalance between cellular damage, accrued throughout life, and the progressive decline in stress response and repair pathways.

Older people have reduced ability to fight infection, partly due to a decline in neutrophil migration to sites of infection, and activation of neutrophils at inappropriate locations that damages otherwise healthy cells, resulting in disease.

PurkinjeWhat is our research?

We are studying a number of pathways, including how neurons survive following damage, the pathways activated to protect the cell against the presence of toxic chemicals and the pathways triggered in response to environmental stress.

For cells to grow there must be both available nutrients and positive signals from proteins responding to environmental stimuli.

Suppression of a single protein, mTOR, which acts as a quality control step activity can result in increased lifespan through an unknown mechanism and we will attempt to reveal this.


Systems approaches to the mTOR network

Prof. Kathrin Thedieck - University of Groningen


The role of mRNA polyadenylation in rapid transcriptional responses

Dr Cornelia De Moor - The School of Pharmacy, University of…


Placement week equips teachers to translate lab life to the classroom

Teacher placement week at the Institute

Scheme presents unique opportunities for teachers


Public encourage Institute to protect fundamental bioscience

Results from public dialogue project shared

Report available


Endosomal Vps34 complex II structure uncovered

Structure explains function at membranes

Paper published in Science


Research Impact

Industrial Research Collaborations - 32

CASE PhD Studentships - 10

Formal Industrial Consultancy Agreements - 4

Case Studies

Group Leaders