Illuminating signalling mechanisms of PEAK pseudokinases in cell migration and cancer

Project type

  • PhD and Graduate Research Masters

Project details

Healthy cells sense diverse external environmental signals and communicate these internally to control processes such as cellular growth and movement. Such messages are important for immune cell function, but can also become dysregulated in cancer/metastasis. PEAK family pseudokinases are a family of signalling proteins, overexpressed in several aggressive cancers, that are critical messengers in such pathways (e.g. Roy et al, Nat Commun 2023, 14 (1), 3542)). Our research aims to visualise and understand how PEAK proteins function and identify targets for development of new cancer therapeutics.

This project will involve the expression and purification of recombinant proteins involved in PEAK signalling and a combination of structural (eg. X-ray crystallography or Cryo-electron microscopy), biophysical (e.g. Surface Plasmon Resonance) and cellular imaging techniques (e.g. fluorescence microscopy).

About our research group

The Lucet lab combines a multi-disciplinary approach utilising structural biology (X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM), protein biochemistry and cell biology, including cutting-edge cellular imaging approaches (e.g. lattice light sheet microscopy) in collaboration with the WEHI imaging facility.

The lab has expertise in studying protein kinases and pseudokinases and collaborates with other labs at WEHI and industry partners in the discovery of new targeted cancer therapeutics in cancer and inflammatory conditions.

Education pathways