I am interested in the mechanisms and dynamics of peroxisomes and protein import into peroxisomes. As peroxisomes are small organelles, I apply (live) STED microscopy to investigate spatial organization and dynamics of peroxisomal proteins. This can reveal new understandings of processes like translocation of proteins across the peroxisomal membrane. Peroxisomes are less known but still fascinating organelles, essential to the cellular functions. Many steps of various catabolic and anabolic pathways take place in peroxisomes, which makes them crucial for human health. The proteins needed for these different metabolic pathways have to be imported into peroxisomes from the cellular cytosol. This import follows a unique mechanism that is still poorly understood. What is known is that these proteins are synthesized in the cytosol and bind to cytosolic import receptors, which transport and import them into the peroxisomes by becoming an integral part of the peroxisomal membrane, thereby forming a transient translocation pore. This unique import system is very interesting as it allows the import of complete protein complexes, which is like the transport of the 'camel through the eye of a needle'. I use advanced microscopy experiments to characterize the dynamics of the peroxisomal import process by: (1) Super-resolution STED microscopy to highlight compartmentalized protein distributions at the peroxisomal membrane; (2) Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) to analyse the interaction dynamics between PEX5 and its cargo proteins; and (3) tracking the movement of peroxisomes to understand the molecular mechanisms that trigger their mobility.
2005-2010 Studies of Biology and Biotechnology (Diploma), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
2010-2014 PhD, Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Systemic Biochemistry, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
2015 - present, Postdoctoral researcher, Christian Eggeling Laboratory, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, UK.