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crystal Igor Stagljar Laboratory
Department of Biochemistry
gold_bar Department of Molecular Genetics
muffler University of Toronto corner_bottom

Research Inspiration

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Cells represent the basic units of life, tiny factories in which the myriad processes essential for life are carried out. Proteins serve as the ‘molecular machinery’ within these factories, working together via protein-protein interactions (PPI) in intricate and delicately balanced networks. Obtaining an understanding of these networks is crucial to unlocking the inner-workings of the cell, and in turn the fundamental biology behind all living organisms.

Our lab is dedicated to the development and application of technologies to map such protein-protein interactions. One key area of focus is the study of membrane proteins, which have been notoriously difficult to study using conventional approaches due to their inherent biochemical complexity. Our group has developed technologies such as MYTH and MaMTH to undertake the study of this clinically relevant class of proteins.

Much of our initial work on the development of the MYTH was conducted using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast). We still continue to use MYTH in this unique unicellular eukaryote, whose relatively simple biology makes it a powerful tool for the understanding of the processes occurring in more complex organisms. To date, use of our yeast-based methodologies has been invaluable in helping us identify and characterize protein interaction and function in a range of organisms from yeast to humans. Recently, our lab developed MaMTH (a mammalian version of MYTH) for use in a wide range of mammalian cells. This new technology opens a new avenue of human membrane protein research and promises to make significant contributions to biomedical science and drug development.

In the Stagljar lab we are dedicated to performing cutting-edge research in interactive proteomics, with the goal of ultimately attaining a comprehensive understanding of the cell. Armed with the knowledge of the pathways and mechanisms underlying cellular processes, researchers will be able to develop therapies to combat human disease and technologies to improve the quality of life as a whole.

Last modified on 12 July, 2016