Extracellular nanovesicles called “exosomes” are small membrane-bound vesicles that are secreted by a variety of cell types. Exosomes contain various molecular constituents of their cell of origin, incl. proteins and genetic materials. The exosome release pathway contributes towards protein secretion, antigen presentation and pathogen transfer and roles of exosomes in intercellular communications and transfer of materials have been studied in immunology, neurobiology, stem cell and tumor biology. Exosomes are also released into the urine, although their role in urine is unclear and provides the basis of this fellowship. To gain novel information about urinary exosomes, a transdisciplinary approach is required. I will use my current knowledge of qualitative and quantitative proteomics combined with extensive bioinformatics to study urinary and renal exosomes and their ‘cargo’ secreted under normal and pathophysiological conditions. I will combine this information with new ideas and techniques I will learn in my host laboratory to examine rates of exosome secretion and to assess whether exosomes have the capacity to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Methodologies in this fellowship include techniques which I have extensive experience of e.g. large scale proteomic profiling, and novel techniques that I will learn in the host lab to enhance my research portfolio and future career prospects, including cell biological and microbiological techniques and experience in collecting/using samples from patients. The scientific goals of the project are to investigate the underlying mechanisms for regulated exosome secretion and the role of exosomes in innate immunity. As exosomes are secreted from multiple cell types, this study will have major implications for a variety of biology disciplines. The fellowship will develop my career by providing new novel laboratory skills, it will give me greater freedom to independently run a research project and increase my int collaborations.
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