NHMRC Research Fellowship (SPRF): Multiscale analysis of plasma membrane microdomains in health and disease (2014–2018)
research brings together an extensive range of state of the art technologies to the multiscale analysis of the structure and function of caveolae, plasma membrane pits. Caveolar dysfunction has been linked to numerous human diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cancer. This proposal builds on the applicant's work on caveola formation and function in model systems and in
mammalian cells with the following key aims: the derivation of the first 3D structural atomic model of caveolae and of the major caveolar components; the analysis of the function of caveolae, in relation to their structure, in cells, tissues and in whole organisms; and the development of a novel drug delivery vehicle based on the ability of caveolar proteins to generate targetable, drug-filled vesicles in a model host.
The planned program of multidisciplinary research bridging cell biology, structural biology, mechanobiology, and human disease is truly unique. It builds upon the expertise and systems developed within my laboratory and the complementary expertise of our collaborators. It takes
advantage of the unique research and training environment we have generated. The research program will transform our understanding of the cell surface, provide new insights into the cell biological mechanisms underlying numerous disease states, and establish new technologies. I have consistently published in the highest impact journals and contributed groundbreaking research in a wide range of disciplines. Funding of the proposed fellowship will allow us to take advantage of the position we have established as leaders in the field to generate seminal research discoveries, develop new research applications, and to train the next generation of researchers.