Prof. Alison Forrester appointed NARC fellow 2023 with her project “Drugging the ERES”

Like every year, the UNamur grants NARC fellowships to a few exceptional researchers who have demonstrated a high-level research CV and who have recently received a prestigious prize or funding.

This year, Alison Forrester, Principal Investigator at NARILIS, is among the newly elected NARC fellows! This appointment acknowledges her outstanding research in the field of cell biology, particularly in membrane biology and intracellular trafficking. It follows an Incentive Grant for Scientific Research (MIS) that she received from the FNRS for her research project “Drugging the ERES”.

Alison Forrester joined the UNamur in October 2022 as a FNRS Research Associate. For over a year now, she has been building her own research group, called “HomER”, to work on endoplasmic reticulum (ER), ER exit sites (ERES), protein trafficking and homeostasis. Her team focuses on protein secretion, an essential process to life. 30% of the body’s proteins are produced in the ER and trafficked through ERES. In the project “Drugging the ERES”, the team is studying the modulation of the early secretary pathway and how this can be linked to the treatment of diseases associated with aberrant protein secretion. This research combines multidisciplinary approaches, such as structural biology, mass spectrometry, interactomics, advanced bioimaging and medicinal chemistry. The goal is to identify novel compounds that modulate ERES activity and subsequently, to apply ERES modulation to disease models.

Alison’s NARC fellowship started on the 1st of October 2023 for a period of 3 years. Thanks to this NARC fellow status, Alison will receive assistance to pursue her research under optimal conditions, enabling her to devote most of her working time to research while being spared the administrative, logistical, and other day-to-day burdens.

As a mentor, Alison chose Maya Schuldiner, professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.