Callaghan Group - Human disease and membrane transport

Membrane transport is essential for the growth, homeostasis and defence of cells. No better evidence of this fact is the considerable proportion of the genome devoted to membrane bound proteins. However, disruption of membrane transport often contributes to development, or progression, of many disease states. In addition, perturbations in membrane transport processes frequently contribute to the failure of many therapeutic strategies. Our research interests focus on understanding the contributions of membrane transport processes to disease and overcoming their impact in treating disease. The expertise of our research team is in the biochemical pharmacology of membrane transporters and generating structural information on these proteins. As shown by the diagram opposite, our strategy utilises the triad of structural, functional and pharmacological endeavours. The laboratory has assembled the infrastructure and considerable expertise in enabling us to work within this triad. We have five main streams of research, so click on the appropriate one and see more details on each of the major projects that we deal with:

  • Contributions of drug efflux pumps to chemotherapy resistance in cancer.
  • Do faulty retinal transport processes underpin visual disorders?
  • Molecular mechanisms of transporters conferring resistance to chemotherapy of malaria
  • Adaptive changes to bioenergetic metabolism and nutrient utilisation in solid tumours.
  • The contributions of ABC transporters to amyloid protein clearance from the CNS.
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Forward genetic screening identifies a link between Plasmodium falciparum fever response, artemisinin resistance and the algal origins of the apicoplast

Event | Mon 2 March 2020
The emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum parasites that are resistant to front-line antimalarial artemisinin-combination therapies (ACT) threatens to erase the considerable gains against the disease of the last decade. We developed a new large-scale phenotypic screening pipeline and used it to carry out the fi

The Staphylococcus aureus Type VII protein secretion system

Event | Wed 5 February 2020
Tracy Palmer is Professor of Microbiology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University. She is an internationally-acclaimed molecular microbiologist who has made seminal contributions regarding bacterial protein secretion

Chromatin structure and epigenetics in Plasmodium falciparum

Event | Thu 27 June 2019

 The genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is maintained primarily as transcriptionally competent, euchromatin with only rest

Roles of IgM in immunity to malaria in humans

Event | Thu 13 June 2019

A key mediator of protective immunity to malaria is antibodies that block merozoite invasion of the RBC.

Identifying the drug binding site(s) of P-glycoprotein

Event | Thu 7 February 2019

The multidrug resistance protein P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is characterized by its ability to bind and/or transport many chemically, structurally, and

G protein-coupled receptors: the structural basis for their pharmacology

Event | Thu 6 December 2018

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) activate intracellular signalling proteins (G proteins and arrestins) in response to extracellular signalling m

Iron, Ferritin and Dopamine: a model system study

Event | Thu 17 May 2018

Disrupted dopamine signalling is a feature of multiple psychiatric and age-related neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease.

Richard Callaghan

Story | Thursday 29 September 2016

I have taught the dreaded subject of Biochemistry to Medical and Science students for almost 20 years and nobody has fallen asleep in a