Laura is a Postdoctoral Fellow working on the development of a high-throughput method to identify extracellular protein interactions. This assay has the potential to screen for novel protein interactions associated with a diverse set of cell-cell binding events. For example, the Cell Surface Signalling Team is interested in mammalian sperm-egg recognition, parasite-host invasion and platelet-platelet aggregation.
I started as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cell Surface Signalling Team in 2014. During my time in the lab I have focused on adapting a well-known ‘reverse transfection’ protocol combined with arraying technology to screen for novel cell surface protein-protein interactions. This involves spotting a mixture of cDNA/other reagents onto a single slide using an Inkjet microarrayer. From here, cells that are layered over these slides and come into contact with cDNA spots will become locally transfected. We plan to array cDNA encoding ~4000 full length proteins that are thought to be expressed on the surface of human cells. Large libraries consisting of recombinant parasite cell surface proteins can then be screened against these transfected cells to identify novel extracellular binding events.