To understand the cell is to understand life

Within the human body, there are 30 trillion cells and 200 different cell types. Understanding how the cell functions is crucial to understanding every human disease. In our group we ask how does a healthy cell function and what goes wrong in a diseased cell?

We study membrane trafficking and cellular organisation, with a focus on domains of the cell surface, novel pathways of endocytosis, and the cellular role of lipid droplets. We are studying the formation and function of cell surface domains called caveolae, the pathways followed by nanoparticles as they enter cells, and the role of lipid droplets in protecting cells against invading pathogens.

Group leader

Professor Rob Parton

Professor Rob Parton

Group Leader, Role of the cell surface in health and disease

Centre for Cell Biology of Chronic Disease, IMB

  +61 7 3346 2032
  UQ Researcher Profile


View all Publications

  • Lipid droplets as innate immunity hubs (DRIMMS) (ERC Synergy Grant administered by Clinis Foundation for Biomedical Research - August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute)
  • Tracking nanoparticles: from cell culture to in vivo delivery
  • Functional analysis of a novel variant in CAV3
  • Translating membrane proteins into therapeutics; from bedside to bench (NHMRC Program Grant administered by Monash University)
  • Making muscle: molecular dissection of membrane domain formation

The possible research projects listed below may not be comprehensive or up to date. Please feel free to contact Professor Rob Parton (r.parton@ for more information. Your own research ideas are also welcome.

  • Zebrafish as a model to understand human muscle diseases
  • Structure and function of a new family of caveolar coat proteins
  • Novel pathways of endocytosis in cultured cells and in tissues
  • Bioengineering of novel nanovesicles for drug delivery
  • Lipid droplets and immune defence