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Speaker Professor Alison Forrester, FNRS Principle Investigator (Chercheur Qualifiée), Research Unit of Cell Biology, University of Namur, Belgium

Title Moving out of the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER): Governance of protein trafficking by ER Exit Sites, and a novel mechanism for its modulation

Host Ulrike Eggert


Abstract Alison Forrester is a group leader at the University of Namur in Belgium. Her group’s work is focussed on protein trafficking, especially the early secretory pathway and Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) exit of proteins, and using advanced microscopy techniques to elucidate these pathways.

The secretory pathway is tightly regulated, and aberrant trafficking can have disastrous effects on cell and tissue homeostasis. Although diseases caused by aberrant secretion are very common, no robust therapies exist. Retro-2 has been recently discovered as one of the first specific inhibitors of ER exit sites (ERES, Forrester et al. Nat Chem Biol 2020). It has been shown to decrease anterograde trafficking of SNARE protein Syntaxin5, inhibiting the retrograde trafficking of the Ricin and Shiga family of toxins (Stechmann et al. Cell 2010). Alison’s group uses Retro-2 as a novel tool to uncover the homeostatic effects and therapeutic potential of acute modulation of ERES.

Using a combination of fundamental cell biology, advanced microscopy and interdisciplinary collaborations, Alison’s group explore protein trafficking and its modulation as a potential therapeutic strategy.

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