Margaret Robinson

Margaret Robinson received her B.A. in Biology from Smith College and her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Harvard University. She was a postdoc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, before moving to the University of Cambridge Department of Clinical Biochemistry as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in 1989.


Margaret Robinson moved to CIMR in 1998. In 1999 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship and in 2003 she was appointed Professor of Molecular Cell Biology. She is presently a Fellow of the Acadamy of Medical Sciences and member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).


Our research focuses on the cell biology of membrane traffic pathways, specifically how coat proteins package cargo into vesicles for delivery to other parts of the cell. Although the work is very much basic science, it is applicable to several disease states.


There are human genetic disorders caused by mutations in some of the proteins that we study; for example, Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Type II is caused by a mutation in the beta3A subunit of the AP-3 coated vesicle adaptor complex. In addition, some of the pathways we are interested in can be exploited by pathogens and used to invade the cell and/or to evade the immune system of the host (e.g., the HIV-1-encoded protein Nef hijacks the AP-1 adaptor complex and clathrin and uses them to keep MHC Class I molecules off the host cell surface).


Our laboratory uses a range of techniques including immunolocalisation at the light and electron microscope levels, subcellular fractionation, protein purification, proteomics, flow cytometry, live cell imaging, and (in collaboration with David Owen at the CIMR) X-ray crystallography.


Recent publications
Hirst, J., A. Motley, K. Harasaki, S.Y. Peak-Chew, and M.S. Robinson. 2003. EpsinR: an ENTH domain-containing protein that interacts with AP-1. Mol. Biol. Cell. 14: 625-641.


Motley, A., N.A. Bright, M.N.J. Seaman, and M.S. Robinson. 2003. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis in AP-2-depleted cells. J. Cell Biol. 162: 909-918.


Hirst, J., S.E. Miller, M.J. Taylor, G. Fischer von Mollard, and M.S. Robinson. 2004. EpsinR is an adaptor for vti1b. Mol. Biol. Cell. 15: 5593-5602.


Hirst, J., G.H.H. Borner, M. Harbour, and M.S. Robinson. 2005. The aftiphilin/p200/g-synergin complex. Mol. Biol. Cell. 16: 2554-2565.


Harasaki, K., N. Lubben, M. Harbour, M.J. Taylor, and M.S. Robinson. 2005. Sorting of major cargo proteins into clathrin-coated vesicles. Traffic 6: 1014-1026.


Contact Details
Professor Margaret S. Robinson
University of Cambridge
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
Wellcome Trust/MRC Building
Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2XY, UK
Phone: (44) 1223 330163
Fax: (44) 1223 762640

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