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Intracellular Trafficking meets Synthetic Biology

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Both within the endocytic as the well as the biosynthetic transport pathways, correct sorting is key to proper functioning of the cell. My lab tries to understand these sorting mechanisms. Whereas we have been studying the internalisation of receptor-bound ligands such as Transferrin and EGF, ever more frequently we also determine the routes of “foreign” bodies, these may be viruses but also synthetic particles (Fletcher et al., 2013). We generally visualise these events both at the light and electron microscopical level by Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM) and 3-dimensional electron tomography (see e.g. Figure and Hodgson et al., 2014 and Olmos et al., 2015).

In order to be able to perform such experiments we also have to develop software and hardware tools. Below are some of the topics that we are currently working on:

1. To study the very early steps of endocytosis we are using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) and aim to combine those with our CLEM approach.

2. The formation of tubular extension from endosomes and lysosomes.

3. Development of CLEM probes that are both fluorescent and electron dense for use in intracellular transport studies.

4. Biosynthesis and internalisation of biosynthetic vesicles (SAGEs, Fletcher et al., 2013).


Olmos, Y. L. Hodgson, J. Mantell, P. Verkade, and J.G. Carlton (2015). ESCRT-III controls nuclear envelope reformation. Nature, 522: 236–239

Hodgson L, D. Nam, J. Mantell, A. Achim, and P. Verkade. (2014). Retracing in Correlative Light Electron Microscopy: Where is My Object of Interest? Methods in Cell Biology, Volume 124: Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy, 1-21.

Fletcher, J., R. Harniman, F. Barnes, A. Boyle, A. Collins, J. Mantell, T. Sharp, M. Antognozzi, P. Booth, N. Linden, M. Miles, R. Sessions, P. Verkade and D. Woolfson (2013). Self-assembling cages from coiled-coil peptide modules. Science, 340: 595-599.

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