Dr Justine Hillís research areas are structural biology of cellular signalling
Complex networks of molecules enable cells to receive signals from their environment and transmit these signals to modify their behaviour. Our research integrates functional studies with structural analysis of macromolecular complexes to better understand cellular signalling at the molecular level. Current projects focus on protein-protein interactions that play important roles in apoptosis and inflammation, and enzymes that regulate protein function by phosphorylation.
We use a range of biochemical and biophysical techniques to investigate protein structure, function and interactions, with a particular emphasis on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR is a powerful technique for determining three-dimensional structures, and also for the characterisation of interactions and dynamics of biological molecules in solution. Together, this information sheds light on the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction, and allows us to understand how proteins function in their normal states and how they malfunction in disease.
Research projects are available at all levels including Introduction to Research/Vacation Research, Honours or PhD, and involve the application of a range of techniques including molecular biology, protein biochemistry and structural biology.