Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing; Host-Pathogen Interactions; Inflammation Mediators; Oxidative Stress; Proteomics; Ubiquitination
One of my main research focus is to understand cause and consequence of oxidative stress in endothelial dysfunction which initiates and perpetuates (chronic) inflammation, evidently impacting health, life quality and longevity.
Redox regulated systems sense nutritional and environmental cues and react dynamically to balance these challenges. While free radicals are extremely short-lived and spatially restricted and thus almost impossible to detect in-situ, their “victims”- including proteins, lipids and nucleic acids- are traceable and termed “oxidation specific epitopes” (OSE). We developed antibodies to detect such OSE and investigate how nutritional (anti-oxidants) and life-style (i.e. physical training) affect oxidative stress and OSE specifically.
Another research focus is to investigate physico-chemical- and biochemical properties of membrane vesicles (MVs). These nano-sized, lipid-bilayered structures represent universal inter-and intracellular communication systems, however, their biological significance is poorly understood. I am interested in the interface prokaryotic-eukaryotic (inter-kingdom)-communication. From the prokaryotic side I focus MVs released by antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and the opportunistic Streptococcus pyogenes and I study their crosstalk with non-professional phagocytic cells such as endothelial cells. In addition, I aim to elucidate immunogenic structures enclosed in these MVs with the aim to develop broad-range efficient vaccines.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
Biochemistry (Signal Transduction, Protein expression, Posttranslational modifications; Enzymatic Assays, Immunoblotting, Immunohistochemistry, ELISA), Molecular Biology (Cloning, Sequencing, PCR, shRNA, Lentivirus, Gene expression analysis), Proteomics (SILAC, Interaction-proteomics, phosphoproteomics, proteome profiling), Bioanalytics (MS (Orbitrap, MALDI), Chromatography (HPLC, nLC, DC, GC), Lipoprotein isolation and modifications).