IMB’s Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine Division seeks to understand the molecular workings of the cell, the building blocks of our bodies. This is vital for a full understanding of how our bodies function, and serves as a foundation to investigate the cellular basis of disease.

IMB scientists are tackling key issues in cell biology, investigating the mechanisms responsible for how cells develop, function, move and interact with one another. Laboratories within the division regularly work alongside collaborators from other research disciplines, where a multidisciplinary approach is necessary to solve fundamental problems or build new technologies.

During 2013, the division supported research in the following areas:

  • cadherin cell-cell adhesion and tissue organisation in health and disease
  • molecular engineering: better tools, better science, better life
  • membrane trafficking at atomic resolution
  • role of the cell surface in health and disease
  • protein trafficking and inflammation
  • role of growth hormone in human development
  • endosomal dynamics and pathogen invasion
  • infection and innate immunity
  • inflammation and innate immunity.

Many leading technologies are used to help the division advance discoveries in these areas, with state-of-the-art, on-site facilities for quantitative optical microscopy, live cell imaging, single-molecule protein interaction analysis, and protein structure determination.

Notably, the division is closely allied with the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility, which allows for the application of cryo-electronic microscopy, cellular tomography, advanced visualisation and high-performance computing. Members of the division also oversee the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s Cancer Biology Imaging Facility.

Major funders of the division include the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, Queensland Government, National Breast Cancer Foundation, and industry partners.

Group leaders

  Name Title Research area Keywords
Professor Alpha Yap Professor Alpha Yap Division Head Cadherin cell-cell adhesion and tissue organisation in health and disease cell-cell adhesion; cytoskeleton; epithelial morphogenesis; breast cancer; bowel cancer; wound healing; epithelial inflammation
 Professor Kirill Alexandrov Professor Kirill Alexandrov  Group Leader Molecular engineering: better tools, better science, better life cancer; blindness; thrombosis; excessive bleeding 
Dr Brett Collins Associate Professor Brett Collins Group Leader Membrane trafficking at atomic resolution Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; inflammation; cancer
Professor George Muscat Professor George Muscat Group Leader Nuclear hormone receptors and metabolic disease type 2 diabetes; obesity; breast cancer; melanoma
 Professor Rob Parton Professor Rob Parton Group Leader  Role of the cell surface in health and disease cancer; muscular dystrophy; diabetes; lipodystophy
 Professor Jenny Stow Professor Jenny Stow IMB Deputy Director (Research) and Group Leader Protein trafficking and inflammation inflammation; inflammatory diseases; bacteria and infection; macrophage biology; cancer
 Associate Professor Rohan Teasdale Associate Professor Rohan Teasdale Group Leader Endosomal dynamics and pathogen invasion  infectious disease; Salmonella bacteria; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease 
 Associate Professor Matt Sweet Professor Matt Sweet  Group Leader  Infection and innate immunity  innate immunity; inflammatory disease; rheumatoid arthritis; atherosclerosis; infectious disease; salmonellosis; urinary tract infections; cancer 
  Dr Kate Schroder  Group Leader  Inflammasomes: mediators of immune defence but culprits in inflammatory disease innate immunity; inflammasome; Salmonella bacteria; hereditary disease; diabetes; arthritis; gout


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