Alison Forrester

ERES Modulation and Homeostasis

Studying the modulation of the early secretory pathway, the effects on cellular homeostasis, and identifying new compounds that modulate this process to develop a therapeutic approach

Prof. Alison Forrester PhD

UNamur, Department of biology, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (URBC), HomER team 

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn 

Expertise and research interests

Prof. Alison Forrester is a cell biologist and microscopist. She is working on endoplasmic reticulum (ER), ER exit sites (ERES), protein trafficking and homeostasis, using advanced bioimaging techniques.

Secretion is essential to life. 30% of the body’s proteins are produced in the ER, and trafficked through ER Exit Sites. Secretion is highly error prone and thus errors can cause many diseases. Using cell biology and advanced microscopy approaches combined with interdisciplinary collaborations, the HomER team will i) identify mechanisms of ERES modulation, ii) identify novel compounds that modulate ERES activity, iii) apply ERES modulation to disease models. This new therapeutic approach will be developed with a view to treat diseases of aberrant secretion.

Group members

Postdoc researcher: Dr. Lucie Caramelle France

PhD student: Sharon Thomas India

Master students: Maria Cardoso da Rocha & Randy-Jo Mpia Massa

Research projects

  • ONGOING Identifying the cargo targets of ER exit site inhibitor Retro-2. Ongoing PhD thesis by Sharon Thomas.
  • ONGOING Visualization and quantification of protein trafficking : development of an imaging pathway for quantitative analysis. Postdoctoral research by Dr. Lucie Caramelle.
  • ONGOING ER Exit Site Modulation and its Role in Cellular Homeostasis. Incentive Grant for Scientific Research (MIS) - FNRS.

Selected publications

Robinson CM, Duggan A, Forrester A. ER exit in physiology and disease. Front Mol Biosci. 2024 Jan 18;11:1352970.

Forrester A, Rathjen SJ, Daniela Garcia-Castillo M, Bachert C, Couhert A, Tepshi L, Pichard S, Martinez J, Munier M, Sierocki R, Renard HF, Augusto Valades-Cruz C, Dingli F, Loew D, Lamaze C, Cintrat JC, Linstedt AD, Gillet D, Barbier J, Johannes L. Functional dissection of the retrograde Shiga toxin trafficking inhibitor Retro-2. Nat Chem Biol. 2020 Mar;16(3):327-336.

Forrester A, De Leonibus C, Grumati P, Fasana E, Piemontese M, Staiano L, Fregno I, Raimondi A, Marazza A, Bruno G, Iavazzo M, Intartaglia D, Seczynska M, van Anken E, Conte I, De Matteis MA, Dikic I, Molinari M, Settembre C. A selective ER-phagy exerts procollagen quality control via a Calnexin-FAM134B complex. EMBO J. 2019 Jan 15;38(2):e99847.