Jeanette Woolard and Davide Calebiro have complementary expertise in receptor tyrosine-kinase receptors and G-protein coupled receptors. They have a joint vision of studying membrane receptors using revolutionary quantitative imaging approaches and identifying and developing novel drug treatments for chronic diseases.
Jeanette Woolard leads one of the few laboratories in the world able to monitor complex cardiovascular responses in conscious animals. Her in vivo laboratory has a world class reputation for its unique ability to monitor regional blood flow in three different vascular beds in conscious animals. This has secured major external research grants and helped to develop important collaborative links with industry (AZ, Promega, Heptares, Medicines Discovery Catapult) and establish major international collaborations with research groups in Europe, USA and Australia. Outside of her cardiovascular haemodynamics work, she has been involved in developing novel fluorescent ligands to study VEGFR2 (with Promega), and NanoBRET approaches to monitor target engagement of GPCRs in tumours in vivo (with Monash University).
Jeanette is also PI on a recently awarded £4.5m Wellcome Trust four-year PhD programme on Drug Discovery and Team Science and the Nottingham lead for a €3.8m grant from the European Commission for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions ITN INSPIRE: (INnovation in Safety Pharmacology for Integrated cardiovascular safety assessment to REduce adverse events and late stage drug attrition).
From Jan 2021, Jeanette is the Nottingham Director of the £10m Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE) having served as Deputy Director of COMPARE in Nottingham since its foundation. She was awarded a fellowship by the British Pharmacological Society (2020), and the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal (2020) from the University of Nottingham for her work on Team Science. Jeanette’s Team Science efforts have also been widely recognised as an example of her citizenship activities, and she was featured as part of the Imaging Scientist website initiative which championed both the COMPARE Team Science initiatives and the need to acknowledge better the role of technologists in scientific research (http://www.imagingscientist.com/team-science.html).
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Davide Calebiro is a Professor of Molecular Endocrinology and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR) of the Univeristy of Birmingham and Co-Director of the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE) of the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.
He leads a multidisciplinary research team comprising biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers and computer scientists focusing on the basic mechanisms of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling and their alterations in endocrine, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. To study GPCR signalling in cells and tissues, they develop and use innovative optical methods based on FRET and single-molecule microscopy, which allow them to directly observe signalling events in living cells with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution.
His major scientific contributions include the discovery that GPCRs are not only active at the plasma membrane but also at intracellular sites and that these receptors interact among themselves and with other membrane proteins to form dynamic nanodomains at the plasma membrane.
Davide’s work has been published in prestigious scientific journals such as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PLoS Biology, PNAS, Nature Communications and Science Advances, attracting several prizes and awards. He is serving on multiple panels and committees, including the Programme Committee of the Society for Endocrinology and the MRC Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board.
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Meri Canals did her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Barcelona, Spain and at Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Her PhD was part of an EU-funded multidisciplinary project that examined the interactions between adenosine and dopamine receptors in Parkinson’s Disease. During Meri's PhD, she obtained scholarships to visit the laboratories of Prof M Bouvier (pioneer in the application of BRET to GPCRs; Montreal, Canada) and Prof R Pepperkok (a leader in the development of FRET; EMBL, Germany). She completed postdoctoral training in a series of leading GPCR pharmacology groups. In the laboratory of Prof G Milligan in Glasgow, (2005-2008) her research focused on the functional consequences of GPCR co-expression and oligomerisation for which she developed novel RET techniques. As a senior post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Profs R Leurs and M Smit in Amsterdam (2008-2010) her research focused on the regulation, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry of chemokine receptors.
In 2010, Meri was awarded a Monash Fellowship to start her independent line of research within the Drug Discovery Biology Theme at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Melbourne, Australia. In 2017, Meri took a sabbatical year to work with her collaborators at the departments of surgery and pharmacology of Columbia University, New York. In October 2018, she moved to the University of Nottingham, to join the Centre of Membrane Protein and Receptors, (COMPARE) as Professor of Cellular Pharmacology at the School of Life Sciences.
Meri's research interests focus on understanding the interactions between G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) and intracellular proteins, and their consequences for receptor signalling and trafficking. In recent years her research has been focused on the study of receptors involved in pain transmission and modulation. In particular, work in Meri's laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which opioid drugs elicit their physiological effects to guide the development of better and safer avenues for pain treatment.
Dylan Owen completed a Physics degree in 2004, MRes in Protein and Membrane Chemical Biology in 2005 and PhD in Biomedical Optics in 2008, all at Imperial Collage London. His PhD involved the development of fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) instrumentation and their application to study membrane lipid microdomains in T cells. After his PhD, Dylan undertook a postdoctoral position in the lab of Katharina Gaus at the Centre for Vascular Research and later the Australian Centre for Nanomedicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. There, he was awarded a Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to use fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to analyse the dynamics of receptors at the T cell immunological synapse. He also started working with one of the first commercial single-molecule localisaton microscopy (SMLM) systems, providing developmental testing and developing the first quantitative statistical analysis to quantify protein clustering from these systems. These were used to analyse the distributions of kinases and adaptor proteins at the T cell synapse.
In 2012, Dylan accepted a lectureship position at King’s College London jointly between the Department of Physics and the Randall Division of Biophysics, starting in 2013. He was awarded a Marie-Curie Career Integration Grant in 2013 and an ERC Starter Grant in 2014 to develop advanced fluorescence imaging methodology and apply them to study the organization of signalling molecules in T cells. Notable developments from this project include the development of model-based, Bayesian cluster analysis, SMLM-based actin fiber analysis and the discovery that mutations in the PTPN22 phosphatase that predispose for autoimmune disease cause aberrant nanoscale organization. In 2018 He was awarded a BBSRC grant to continue the development of analysis methodology for SMLM, including the first applications of machine learning techniques. During his time at King’s College, Dylan lectured 3rd and 4th year undergraduate modules in Biophysics, acted as head of Research for the Physics Department and co-founded the London Super-Resolution meeting series. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016 and Reader in 2018.
In 2019, Dylan moved to the University of Birmingham, taking up an Interdisciplinary Chair between the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy and the School of Mathematics, as well as membership of COMPARE. Dylan’s lab continues to develop new microscopy methods – especially in super-resolution image analysis and apply them to understand the biophysics of cell membranes and the role of nanoscale organization in regulating T cell function. He was appointed Deputy-Director (Birmingham) of COMPARE in 2021. Dylan leads 2 modules on image analysis and modelling for the Birmingham MSc in Bioimaging and leads the Cell and Molecular Biology foundation module for the Birmingham International Academy.
Joëlle Goulding - Research Fellow in Advanced Microscopy,
University of Nottingham
In April 2017, Joëlle Goulding was appointed as Research Fellow in Advanced Microscopy for COMPARE at the University of Nottingham. Joëlle completed her PhD in Nottingham in Genetics and following a postdoc studying adult stem cells in the cerebellum she joined the Cell Signalling Research Group headed by Prof Steve Hill. Within the group she has employed a number of imaging techniques and analysis strategies to study the pharmacology of Class A GPCRs. Most recently, Joëlle has worked on a collaborative BHF funded grant developing imaging techniques to study how polymorphic variants of the β2-adrenergic receptor can affect receptor function within stem cells and differentiated cell types.
Joëlle has a particular interest in imaging stem cells and methods of investigating endogenous levels of receptor expression. She will be continuing to develop research within fluorescence correlation spectroscopy alongside testing methodologies for the study of membrane receptors with the newly acquired Olympus LV200 and PhaseFocus Livecyte.
Dee Kavanagh – Microscope Officer, University of Birmingham
In March 2017, Dr Dee Kavanagh joined COMPARE as the microscope officer at the University of Birmingham. Dee received her PhD in microfluidics in 2012 from Heriot-Watt University before carrying out her post-doctoral research within the Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Centre (ESRIC), where she applied advanced imaging techniques to study regulated secretion at the level of single proteins. Here, she gained expertise in single molecule microscopies as well as single photon counting techniques. These techniques are extremely powerful tools to probe the interactions, conformations, dynamics and the nano-scale positions of proteins in cells. In her role at COMPARE, Dee will work closely to support users to optimize and develop their research ideas using advanced imaging techniques. She will provide specialist training for the microscopy technologies available at COMPARE, including single molecule microscopies, structured illumination, single plane illumination, TIRF microscopy and confocal microscopy.
Jeremy Pike – Research Fellow in Image Analysis,
University of Birmingham
Jeremy Pike joined COMPARE in 2017 as a Research Fellow in Image Analysis and is based at the University of Birmingham. Jeremy completed his PhD in Birmingham where he developed automated image analysis workflows to quantify receptor trafficking using confocal microscopy. Subsequently he worked as an image analyst and microscopy specialist at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Here he developed expertise in a range of analysis techniques and applied these methods to applications in cancer research, including the development of automated feedback microscopy protocols.
In his role at COMPARE Jeremy will collaborate with research groups to design image analysis workflows. Alongside this, he will provide a range of training courses using leading open-source software.
University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
Coventry University (Honorary Professor, University of Birmingham)
Management and Administration Team
COMPARE PI Technology Spotlight
The Technology Spotlight (PDF) is a compendium of research questions and technologies used by COMPARE PIs. This document has been created to assist colleagues in establishing collaborative areas of research across COMPARE.