Understanding how membrane-less organelles form with optogenetic tools

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Danny Hatters dhatters@unimelb.edu.au 83442530 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Dezerae Cox

Project Details

Recent research has identified a completely novel phase-separation strategy cells use to organize proteins and nucleic acids together into protein liquid droplet compartments that are distinct to the those traditionally bound by membranes (such as the ER). The fundamental details of these protein liquid droplets are formed is not well understood but defects in how they form appear to be central to neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. In this project, a new optogenetic toolkit will be used to control how protein liquid droplets form in mammalian cells using light. The project test whether several candidate proteins form liquid droplets and design mutations to test how the droplet formation is regulated. The project will involve designing and cloning new constructs, testing their expression in mammalian cells and designing mutations into them.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Biomedical Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Hatters laboratory: Protein misfolding and proteostasis in neurodegenerative diseases

Research Node

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute

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