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Lotteries Health Grant Successes

Posted by on 14 March 2014 | Comments

Congratulations to the following staff who have been awarded grants from the Lotteries Health:


Ros Kemp - Prognostic value of immune parameters in colorectal cancer.

In our laboratory, we have developed methods for analysing tumour infiltrating immune cells and associated tumour-specific effector molecules. We have shown that the immune infiltrate in colorectal cancer is considerably more complex than originally thought.  The effect of this complexity on patient outcome has not been examined. In this study, we will pilot the measurement of these newly discovered immune cell and effector molecule combinations and correlate these with clinico-pathological stage and patient outcome.    

Keith Ireton - the role of the human early secretory pathway in spreading of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes meningitis or abortions. Critical for virulence is the ability of Listeria to spread from initially infected human cells to surrounding cells. Spreading involves the formation of host-derived plasma membrane extensions (‘protrusions’) containing motile bacteria. By understanding the molecular mechanism of protrusion formation, it may be possible to develop therapeutics that block bacterial spread.
Here we test the hypothesis that a Listeria protein named InlC stimulates protrusions by antagonizing a host secretory pathway mediated by the human proteins Sec31A and Tuba. Our previous findings indicate that InlC disrupts complexes normally formed by Tuba and Sec31A, thereby removing an inhibition in bacterial spread. In the proposed work, we will (1) characterize the mechanism of interaction of Sec31A and Tuba, (2) investigate if Sec31A and Tuba promote vesicular transport between the host endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi, and (3) determine if InlC disrupts ER-Golgi transport.

More information about all Otago researchers success on the Otago website: