The Ganley lab is interested in unravelling the molecular mechanism of autophagy (which literally translates from the Greek meaning to eat oneself). Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that functions to clear the cell of potentially damaging agents, such as protein aggregates or faulty mitochondria, as well as acting as a recycling station to supply essential building blocks during periods of starvation.
Ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) controls protein turnover in cells in order to maintain cellular homeostasis (1). E3 ubiquitin ligases facilitate the process of attaching ubiquitin on sustrate proteins. By recruiting E3 ubiqutin ligases to the Proteins of Interest (POIs), we can target specific POIs for UPS-mediated degradation, for example by small molecule proteasome targeting chimeras (PROTACs).
To maintain genetic integrity, human cells must segregate sister chromatids to opposite spindle poles, prior to their cell division. Errors in this process cause cell death and various human diseases, such as cancers and congenital disorders, which are often characterised by chromosome instability and aneuploidy . Evidence suggests that chromosome instability is closely linked to the aetiology of several types of cancers. Moreover, due to chromosome instability, cancer cells rapidly change their phenotypes, which poses major therapeutic challenges.
We investigate the regulation and function of the mRNA cap, a modification of RNA essential for gene expression which integrates transcript processing and translation. We are beginning to understand how oncogenes and signalling pathways can regulate gene expression via regulation of mRNA capping enzymes. Signalling pathways which modify the mRNA capping enzymes have the potential to change the gene expression landscape, thus causing changes in cell physiology.
Recruitment for our Wellcome 4-Year PhD Programme in Integrated molecular, cellular and translational biology is now open. Greater than 40 different supervisors participate with diverse research areas. Further information can be found on the programme website. Students on this programme will carry out three short laboratory placements prior to selection of main PhD project.