Student Opportunities

Cell Signalling and Gene Regulation

Prof. Proud’s laboratory studies the signalling pathways by which hormones, growth factors and nutrients regulate the function of mammalian cells, especially protein metabolism. The proper control of these pathways plays an important role in cell growth and proliferation, the storage and utilisation of nutrients, and in neurological processes. Defects in their control contributes to tumorigenesis, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemias, cardiovascular disorders and neurodegenerative disease.

A major nutrient-sensitive signalling pathway involves the mammalian target of rapamycin, complex 1, mTORC1. mTORC1 is activated by hormones and amino acids, and regulates multiple steps in protein synthesis including the initiation and elongation stages. We are also currently investigating the role of several protein kinases closely related to the mTORC1 pathway, all of which directly impact the mRNA translation machinery. As direct regulators of key protein synthesis factors, these kinases, which include MNK1, MNK2 and eEF2K, play a central role in cellular metabolism. MNK1 and MNK2 phosphorylate the key translation initiation factor eIF4E.

For further information about the student project available for 2019 please click here or email


The Nutrition and Metabolism theme hold regular Research Events:

Students are welcome to attend. Dates are below:

  • Thursday July 26 2018

For further information please contact -

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.