We just received a prestigious NIH/MIST grant!

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We are happy to announce that our research has been awarded a grant from the Mucosal Immunology Studies Team, a NIH-funded consortium. We have shown that a transmembrane mucin on the surface of intestinal cells acts as a sensor that detects the intestine’s bacteria. With the help of the grant from NIH/MIST, we will be able to identify which intestinal bacteria that are recognized by transmembrane mucins and the signaling pathways involved in sensing of gut microbiota.

Read more here.

Thaher Pelaseyed awarded 6.8 Mkr from SSMF

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We are very excited to announce that we have received a generous grant from Swedish Society for Medical Research (Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning, SSMF). SSMF’s Large Grant goes to promising young scientists who are establishing themselves as independent researchers. The grant totals SEK 6.8 million over 4 years.

- SSMF's grant means a lot for the research group. It is an endorsement of our project and it allows us to expand, says Thaher Pelaseyed.

- We will now be able to recruit talented postdocs and doctoral students who will address important questions regarding the function of transmembrane mucins in the intestine, says Thaher.

Read more on ‘Academy Life’, Sahlgrenska Academy’s online staff newspaper.

Thaher Pelaseyed receives funding from the Wenner-Gren foundations

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Thaher Pelaseyed has received funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundations for his research on the role of transmembrane mucin in the human intestine.

- I am extremely pleased that the Wenner-Gren Foundations have decided to continue supporting my work. The Foundations funded my postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University, which was very productive, says Thaher Pelaseyed.

- The support from the Wenner-Gren Foundations is crucial for my research aiming at elucidating the fundamental function of transmembrane mucins in the human intestines. We have good evidence that these complex glycoproteins are involved in signaling pathways that mediate crosstalk between intestinal epithelial cells and luminal bacteria. Understanding this crosstalk could help us identify the mechanism behind chronic inflammatory diseases in the gut.

The support from Wenner-Gren Foundation consists of a 2 year Research Fellow position, a generous starting grant and the opportunity to expand the research group with an international postdoc.

New research article in eLIFE: Pelaseyed et al. uncover molecular mechanism behind formation of microvilli

How cells specify morphologically distinct plasma membrane domains is poorly understood. Prior work has shown that restriction of microvilli to the apical aspect of epithelial cells requires the localized activation of the membrane-F-actin linking protein ezrin. Using an in vitro system, we now define a multi-step process whereby the kinase LOK specifically phosphorylates ezrin to activate it. Binding of PIP2 to ezrin induces a conformational change permitting the insertion of the LOK C-terminal domain to wedge apart the membrane and F-actin-binding domains of ezrin. The N-terminal LOK kinase domain can then access a site 40 residues distal from the consensus sequence that collectively direct phosphorylation of the appropriate threonine residue. We suggest that this elaborate mechanism ensures that ezrin is only phosphorylated at the plasma membrane, and with high specificity by the apically localized kinase LOK.

This works was recently published in eLIFE: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22759.001

Thaher Pelaseyed awarded the Sahlgrenska Academy International Starting Grant

Thaher Pelaseyed has been awarded the Sahlgrenska Academy International Starting Grant for the 2015 academic year. The grants targets young scientists who have held a postdoctoral position at a foreign higher education institution. Thaher Pelaseyed, who is expected to complete his postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell by the end of 2016, is looking forward to re-establishing his research at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

- I am very thankful for the grant and I am looking forward to bring the knowledge and skills that I have acquired at Cornell back to University of Gothenburg, says an excited Thaher Pelaseyed.

Thaher Pelaseyed will use the The Sahlgrenska Academy International Starting Grant of 500 000 SEK to establish an independent lab in the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology.