Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
We are interested how cell decisions are preconditioned by the organization of cell surface receptors. Critical questions to be addressed include, how does the clustering of receptors in homo- and hetero-complexes influence signal transduction, what mechanisms control the receptor landscape at the cell surface, and how many receptors need to be activated to elicit a robust downstream signal in the cytoplasm. To study these questions we develop super-resolution single molecule imaging that allows us to measure how receptors co-aggregate in cell surface clusters. A peculiar challenge of this work is that imaging is limited to two or three receptor types at the time whereas receptor clusters may include many more types. To this end we develop novel numerical “multiplexing algorithms” to extrapolate cluster formation of complex receptor mixtures. We focus these studies on the interactions among ErbB1-4 and between the ErbB receptor family, IGFR, and c-Met.
* indicates shared senior authorship
Jaqaman K., Kuwata H., Touret N., Trimble W., Danuser G.*, Grinstein S.* Cytoskeleton control of CD36 diffusion promotes its receptor and signaling function. Cell. 146(4):593-606. 2011.
Welch C.M., Elliott H., Danuser G.*, and Hahn K.M.* Imaging the coordination of multiple signalling activities in living cells. Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol.12:749 – 756. 2011.