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Dr Chris Stefan
LMCB 3.01
Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT
Appointment
  • Reader
  • MRC/UCL Lab for Molecular Cell Bio
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Biography

Christopher J. Stefan is a Reader in the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at University College London. He received his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Washington University School of Medicine in 1998. Prior to joining UCL, he has held research positions at Cornell University (2007-2013), the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Research Fellow; 1999-2003) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2003-2007).

Research Groups
Research Summary

The transmission of signals across the plasma membrane allows cells to sense their surroundings and mount responses to external cues. Accordingly, the plasma membrane is highly organized and undergoes dynamic remodelling by the delivery and removal of material via the secretory and endocytic pathways. Our research focuses on the control of cell signalling and membrane trafficking pathways by phosphoinositide (PI) kinase regulatory networks. PI kinase signalling networks control several key cellular processes including cell growth and survival, cell proliferation and differentiation, cell polarity and migration, and membrane trafficking pathways. Consequently, defects in PI kinase regulatory networks have been implicated in numerous human diseases including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. It is vital that we understand how cells maintain and use these essential signalling molecules. We are currently undertaking multidisciplinary approaches–including cell biological assays, high-resolution microscopy, system-wide functional genomics and proteomics, and biochemical approaches–to make new discoveries into the regulation of PI kinase signalling and membrane trafficking networks. We expect that these investigations will reveal new insights into the complex regulatory processes that ensure the temporal and spatial specificity of membrane trafficking systems, including regulated exocytosis and endocytosis during neurotransmission. We expect these studies will be particularly relevant to neuronal physiology, as defects in PI metabolism have been implicated in several neurological and neurodegenerative disorders including Down’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. 

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