Our group studies the process of membrane trafficking in the human cell. This is fundamental for normal physiology, and is important in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Our goal is to determine the molecular basis of how ‘protein coats’ bind to receptors, such as the amyloid precursor protein involved in Alzheimer’s, and control their packaging into membrane-bound vesicles.

We use a wide variety of techniques, including molecular biology, protein X-ray crystallography, biochemical and biophysical studies of protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions, and cellular studies of protein localisation, to build coherent molecular models of how molecules are trafficked within the cell.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include:

  • Molecular basis for the function of the retromer protein complex, and implications for neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Determining the role of ‘sorting nexin’ proteins in controlling the homeostasis of receptors in neurons.
  • Discovery of small molecules that modulate the assembly of protein trafficking coats.
  • Structural studies of proteins that form membrane structures called caveolae.

Project members

Group Leader

Professor Brett Collins

Director, Centre for Cell Biology of Chronic Disease
NHMRC Leadership Fellow - GL
Institute for Molecular Bioscience