The Pryor lab is a cell biology group that is interested in the biogenesis of lysosomes and phagolysosomes, the role of lysosomes in disease and additionally how lysosomes are manipulated by intracellular pathogens.
1. Lysosome Biogenesis
The lysosome was traditionally regarded as a dead-end hydrolytic organelle for the recycling of waste products. However, in recent years our understanding of the lysosome has changed and it is now clear that the lysosome is a signalling hub and is crucial for cellular homeostasis. Lysosome dysfunction can lead to diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and obesity. One overarching theme to our research are the molecules involved in regulating lysosome function. Projects are currently investigating chaperone mediated autophagy and lysosome biogenesis by transcription factors.
2. Pathogen manipulation of intracellular membranes
Lysosomes form part of our innate immunity, yet successful intracellular pathogens, such as Salmonella, Chlamydia and Mycobacteria, are able to manipulate the host's trafficking machinery to enable them to avoid/delay delivery to the lysosome and thereby create their replicative niche. We are using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify pathogen proteins that alter membrane trafficking. We then find the mammalian targets of these proteins using a variety of cell biological techniques such as proteomics, fluorescent microscopy, photo-crosslinking, immunoprecipiation and affinity chromatography. Identifying the mammalian targets of the pathogen proteins allows us to dissect how the pathogen can survive intracellularly.
The laboratory is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust (CIDCATS studentship) and the BBSRC (BBSRC DTP in Mechanistic Biology)
As a researcher and lecturer, my teaching in the Hull York Medical School and Department of Biology is informed by my research interests in how lysosomes regulate cellular homeostasis and what goes wrong when lysosomal function is perturbed.
First year skills (ethics, report writing, scientific method). Second year Cell Biology lectures and practicals. Second year skills practicals in Immunobiology. Third year lectures in Bacterial Pathogenesis. Integrated Masters (fourth year) Critical Analyses in Imaging.
My tutorials start with a theme but quickly move off-topic to suit the interests of the tutorial group. General themes include host-pathogen interactions, and membranes and disease.
Lysosomes in health and disease. Projects include manipulation of lysosomes by Chlamydia trachomatisandthe horse pathogen Rhodococcus equi. Hsc70 and chaperone mediated autophagy. Transcriptional regulation of lysosomes in neurodegenerative diseases.
As one of the biomedical sciences degree admissions tutors I take a keen interest in the development of our biomedical scientists as they progress through their degree.