Key Research Interests and Expertise

Current investigations are centred on the chemokine receptors and their ability to bind a variety of ligands and induce specific cellular responses, including cell migration.

Regulation of cell surface expression of chemokine receptors and receptor trafficking

We aim to understand the mechanisms how chemokine receptor cell surface expression is regulated and how internalization and recycling of receptors influences migration patterns of cells. 

How do chemokine receptors induce cell migration

The chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 act as a co-receptor for the HIV virus and have also been implicated in migration of cancerous cells. Our main interest lies in understanding the signal transduction induced by these two receptors. It is well known that chemokine receptor activation leads to an increase in the release of intracellular calcium and ultimately cell migration. We want to investigate how the receptors can activate cell migration and determine which signaling networks are involved in this. With the aid of pharmacological inhibitors we already have identified different signalling networks which are involved in migration. In the future we want to concentrate on specific proteins like ?-arrestins, which play a critical role in cell migration. We aim to understand how different chemokine receptor can activate migration in cells and which signalling networks play a role in chemotaxis.

Current Group members:

  • Wing Yee Lai (PhD student)
  • Enana Al-Assaf (PhD student)
  • Isabel Hamshaw (PhD student)


Former group members:

  • Shirley Mills (PhD student 2014-2019)
  • Goh-Hui Poh (PhD student 2014-2018)
  • Gerald Keil (PhD student 2015-2019)
  • Jason Kerr (PhD student 2006-2010)
  • Clara Moyano Cardaba (PhD student 2007-2011)
  • Richard Jacques (PhD student 2009-2013)
  • Hope Roberts-Dalton (PGT student)
  • Samira Khabbazi (PGT student)
  • Xiaoxi Chen (PGT student)


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