Studies of yeast and human integral membrane proteins in cell signaling and membrane transport at a system level
Postdoctoral Fellow: University of Zurich & University of Washington (Seattle)
Ph.D.: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland
B.Sc.: University of Zagreb, Croatia
Fields of Interest:
- Cellular and Molecular Structure and Function
- Functional Genomics and Proteomics
A focus of my lab is to understand the function of the majority of “druggable” yeast and human integral membrane proteins involved in cell signaling and membrane transport at a systems level. Despite extensive research in the past decade, there is a lack of in-depth understanding of protein networks associated with these integral membrane proteins because of their unique biochemical features, enormous complexity and multiplicity. This is a major obstacle for designing improved and more targeted therapies, and importantly, understanding the biology of deregulation of these integral membrane proteins which leads to numerous human diseases. To address this challenge, we are applying an in vivo genetic system previously developed in my lab, called the membrane yeast two-hybrid (MYTH) assay, to identify and characterize protein interactors of all yeast ABC transporters and human receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), as well as selected cancer stem cell receptors (CSCRs) and G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). In the past years, we have shown that the newly identified interactors of these various integral membrane proteins play novel roles in regulating their activity both in vivo and in vitro. In this way, our systematic MYTH approach offers an unbiased systems level view that facilitates the identification of novel drug targets, thereby promising significant contributions to therapeutic research.