Honorary Associate Professor Rosalind Hinde

Honorary Associate Dr Adrienne Grant

Maxi Kanold is doing a studienarbeit in our laboratory as part of her Diploma in Technical Biology at the University of Stuttgart.   Maxi has refined the cation exchange method of isolation of HRF and for the first time has achieved separation of the two cell signals HRF and PIF.

Our previous work on clotrimazole, the synthetic fungicide, suggested that HRF may act as a calmodulin antagonist (Grant et al., 2006).   Maxi is now exploring this theory using chemical methods for identification.  


Tessa van Kempen

During an internship in our laboratory for her Biotechnology Course at AVANS University in Holland, Tessa van Kempen explored the idea that the cell signal HRF is produced by other organisms.   After detailed background research, Tessa developed a theory that some organisms produce HRF during periods of anoxia.  Preliminary results using yeast cells as a source of HRF supported her theory.

Although, HRF activity was first observed more than 50 years ago, detection of HRF in PAGE systems has not been possible because HRF does not bind the classical dyes such as Coomassie Blue and Ponceau Red.  However, by trial and error, Tessa has visualized HRF in a PAGE system for the first time using UV light and the BioRad Gel Doc system.

Katja Trompf has a degree in biotechnology from the University of Applied Science in Hamburg. Katja worked as a volunteer on several research projects one of which is to discover the mechanisms used by the coral cell signal HRF to regulate carbon metabolism. In this photograph Katja is examining the oxidative damage caused by exposure to copper to the zoanthid tissue.

Michael Wierer was a volunteer from Germany who has a degree in Molecular Biotechnology from the Technical University of Munich. In our lab, Michael studied the inhibition of photosynthesis in cnidarian algae. Here he is explaining (with the aid of pencil and paper!) some of the complexities of his experimental results obtained using a Water pulse amplitude fluorometer (PAM) which measures chlorophyll a fluorescence.

As a summer scholarship student, Lorna looked at the effects of another coral signalling molecule which partially inhibits algal photosynthesis on free-living algae.

Then Lorna continued in our lab with another project as part of the talented student programme. Here she has isolated iron-oxidizing bacteria that cause slime in rice fields.

Lorna recently completed her PhD in MMB studying "The effects of metal ions upon the transthyretin amyloid formation pathway".

As part of her internship Hedi joined us as a volunteer in a project studying the effects of copper on zoanthids. Copper is a common pollutant in the marine environment. We are studying means of early detection of damage caused by copper so that remedial action can be taken before the symbioses die. We have found that oxidative damage by copper occurs to the animal host tissue before it damages the intracellular algae.