Dr Kip Gabriel
Tel: +61-3-9902 9213
Fax: +61-3-9905 3726
Office: Room 253, Level 2, Building 76 (STRIP 2)
The lab is particularly interested in diseases or infections that cause or are caused by mitochondrial pathologies and the mechanisms of toxin targeting to mitochondria.
Our Laboratory is also an active member of the Host-Pathogen Molecular Biology Unit.
Current Projects in the Laboratory
1. Mutations in the Protein Kinase PINK1 cause PARK6 familial Parkinson's disease. PINK1 is a Protein Kinase that was recently discovered to be targeted to mitochondria and the cytosol. We are elucidating how and why PINK1 is targeted to mitochondria, which compartment it resides in and determining which proteins are its substrates. This work is a close collaboration with Associate Professor Heung-Chin Cheng (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) and Dr. Janetta Culvenor (Pathology) at the University of Melbourne.
2. The protein PorB from the meningitis causing bacterium Neisseria meningitidis affects human cells during invasion of the nervous system. In collaboration with ARC Federation Fellow Professor Trevor Lithgow and Professor John Davies (Microbiology) we are currently investigating how the Neisserial beta barrel protein PorB, is targeted and assembled in mitochondria and the functional effects it has on human mitochondria. Of particular interest is coming to an understanding of how these mitochondrial events play out in the pathology of meningococcal disease.
Lesions caused by Neisseria menigitidis during Meningococcal disease.
Image from www.meningitis-trust.ie/
3. Stomach ulcers are caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. A protein from this bacterium, VacA, is targeted to mitochondria. Exactly how VacA assembly contributes to pathogenesis of Helicobacter infection remains of interest. In collaboration with Dr.Terry Kwok-Schuelein we are examining how this protein is assembled in mitochondria.
Ms. Kher Shing Tan (Research Assistant)
Mr. Jhih-Hang Jiang (PhD Student)
Ms. Dilini Alankarage (Honours Student 2010/2011)
Opportunities to join the lab
Honours and PhD Projects are currently available in the laboratory. The lab uses a wide range of Cell and Molecular Biology techniques to study protein trafficking and mitochondrial biology. Applications/enquiries can be sent by email to the laboratory head.
Our laboratory is located within the Science, Technology, Research & Innovation Precinct (STRIP) on the Monash University Clayton campus. The precinct is serviced with cutting edge technology and facilities, including confocal and electron microscopy suites, proteomics centres, protein and antibody production facilities and animal facilities. Our building fosters a multi-disciplinary and collaborative environment.
Commonly used techniques in the laboratory
SDS and Blue native electrophoresis
Mammalian tissue culturing
In vitro protein translocation assays