About the Molecular Proteomics laboratory
The Molecular Proteomics laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular function of nano-sized biological extracellular vesicles and how their intercellular signalling is important in normal physiology and pathologies including cancer and cardiometabolic disease with the goal of identifying new deliverable therapeutic targets. The advanced-nano approaches developed in our lab have identified novel regulators of secretome (cell-derived secreted factors) and extracellular vesicle biology and have utilised this knowledge for commercial and translational potential.
Extracellular vesicles are sophisticated signalling mediators, transporting select RNA and protein cargo. As secreted vesicles they have the capacity to enable intercellular communication and have become the focus of exponentially growing interest, both to study their functions and to understand ways to use them in the development of minimally invasive diagnostics. Importantly, extracellular vesicles are released into biological fluids including blood, urine, uterine fluid, and protect their cargo against degradation and denaturation in the extracellular environment.
We are particularly interested in studying dynamic changes in proteins and their post-translational modifications, and understanding how extracellular vesicles mediate function to ultimately shape cellular physiology. We primarily focus on cardiometabolic disease (fibrotic processes during myocardial infarction and hypertension), implantation biology and molecular events associated with implantation and receptivity (embryo-endometrial cross-talk) and cancer progression. It is crucial to define extracellular vesicles and understand the molecular mechanisms of their signalling and reprogramming to develop better approaches to investigate the many functions of cell communication, including in normal physiology and how they contribute to disease. This knowledge will lead to design of nano-carriers for the targeted and selective delivery to target organs/cells, define mechanisms of delivery and reprogramming of target cells, and development of novel therapeutics targeted to intercellular signalling.
We use a multi-disciplinary approach to understand the molecular function of extracellular vesicles incorporating proteomics, cell biology, molecular biology, nanomaterials, nanobiotechnology, regenerative cell biology, physiology, and experts in molecular therapies with the goal of identifying new deliverable therapeutic targets and facilitate effective engineered nanoparticles for next generation cell-free therapies.