The ageing process is associated with the accumulation of (toxic) misfolded proteins, that can lead to neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's Disease.
Protein quality control processes, such as cellular stress responses that induce the expression of protective molecular chaperones can counteract and delay the onset of these age-associated protein conformational diseases.
Protective stress response mechanisms that regulate the expression of molecular chaperones are known to act within a single cell. However new research has shown that multicellular organisms require inter-cellular communication to activate stress responses and induce protective chaperones in the entire organism, including tissues and organs that may be most vulnerable.
Our group aims to understand how cell stress responses
are communicated between cells and across tissues within the complexity of an entire organism.
Our lab uses the power of C. elegans as a tractable genetic model system for human neurodegenerative diseases in combination with genomic approaches and the strength of biochemistry, structural biology and Cryo-EM.
The van Oosten-Hawle laboratory is located in the Garstang Building at the University of Leeds.