Paul Gleeson laboratory

Research Overview

Our aim is to understand the molecular basis of membrane and protein sorting in the secretory and endocytic pathways in a variety of physiological processes using differentiated primary cells, and to exploit this knowledge for the design of new therapeutics.

Our laboratory uses a range of state-of-the-art techniques in cell biology, optical imaging, genetics, molecular biology and molecular immunology to investigate:

  • Membrane trafficking
    • Membrane trafficking underpins many physiological processes, including secretion, receptor signalling, endocytosis, antigen presentation, and neural networking. Many diseases arise from defects in membrane trafficking, including Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Our laboratory has developed strategies for studying trafficking in primary cells and whole organisms.
    • There are three main projects underway in this area involving study of membrane trafficking in macrophages, endothelial cells and neurons.
  • Functions of the Golgi apparatus
    • Our laboratory has discovered new functions of the Golgi apparatus and pioneered a role for the Golgi as a signalling hub.
    • Various diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, are associated with fragmentation of Golgi structure and we are investigating the consequence of Golgi fragmentation on a range of cellular processes to understand the pathology of these diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease.

diagram showing membrane trafficking pathways

Figure 1: Membrane trafficking pathways

Image of actin and golgi

Figure 2: Neuroblastoma cells showing the dispersal of the Golgi membranes (green) when actin (red) is stabilised. Image taken by Prajakta Gosavi.

Visualisation of neurons

Figure 3: Mouse primary neurons in culture stained for dendrites (green), Golgi (red) and nucleus (blue). Image taken by  Khalisah Zulkefli.

Rainbow-coloured artwork of the golgi apparatus

Figure 4: Artist rendition of the Golgi apparatus. By Chloe Gleeson.


Dr Lou Fourriere-Chea, Post Doc
Fiona Houghton, MSc Senior research assistant
Xiao Peng Lin, PhD Student 
Andrea Maione, PhD Student 
Christian Makhoul, PhD Student
Andreas Pannek, PhD student
Jingqi (Melinda) Wang, PhD Student

Recent past lab members

Dr Dorothee Bourges, Post Doc
Dr Cheryl Chia, Post Doc
Regina Duffied, Research Assistant
Dr Prajakta Gosavi, Post Doc
Dr Robert Lieu, Post Doc
Dr Jade Louber, Post Doc
Ismail Mahmoud, PhD Student
Dr Sofia Nystrom Post Doc 
Sarah Overall, PhD Student
Dr Jet Phey Lim, Post Doc
Dr Jing Zhi Anson Tan, Post Doc
Dr Wei Hong Toh, Post Doc
Chenkun Zhao, Honours Student
Dr Khalisah Zulkefli, Post Doc

Group photo of the current members of the Gleeson lab

Group photo of some of the previous members of the Gleeson lab


Associate Professor Justine Mintern, Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, The University of Melbourne
Professor Malcolm McConville, Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, The University of Melbourne
Professor Steven Dower, CSL, Bio21
Dr Anne Verhagen, CSL, Bio21
Dr Liz Hinde, School of Physics, University of Melbourne
Professor Alice P├ębay, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, The University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Eric Hanssen, Bio21 Institute
Dr Janine Gotot, University of Bonn, Germany
Dr Franck Perez, Institut Curie, Paris


NHMRC Project Grant: Defining the anterograde and endocytic trafficking pathways in primary neurons; relevance to dysfunctional trafficking of BACE1 and APP in Alzheimer’s disease.
ARC Discovery Project: 'The function of the ribbon structure of the Golgi apparatus in vertebrates'.
ARC Linkage Project: 'Intracellular trafficking and function of a recycling receptor that prolongs the serum half-life of novel therapeutic proteins'.

Research Publications

Click here for the results of a PubMed search of Paul's publications.

Click here for the results of a Google Scholar analysis of Paul's publications.

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Cell Signalling, Cellular Imaging & Structural Biology, Therapeutics & Translation

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Paul Gleeson

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Unit / Centre

Paul Gleeson laboratory

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