ESR 2 Marc Pilegaard Pedersen, University of Groningen

Molecular Cell Biology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ida J. van der Klei

He was born and grown up on the beautiful Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic sea and has always had a strong connection to nature growing up on the countryside. In 2010 he moved to Copenhagen to study Biology-Biotechnology at the University of Copenhagen from which he earned both his bachelor and master’s degree, while also working as a laboratory assistant. In his master’s thesis project, Marc made advances in photosynthetic engineering and light-driven biosynthesis of fusion proteins. Throughout his studies Marc has specialized in molecular biology, protein biochemistry and applied bioinformatics. Later, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Copenhagen. In this position Marc developed strong skills in heterologous protein expression, IMAC protein isolation, protein refolding and protein-carbohydrate interactions. Marc aims to become a PI, running multiple research project and consulting on even more.

Project Title:  Yeast peroxisomal transporters and pore forming proteins

My project revolves around the possible existence of multiple unknown transport -and pore protein that might be found in the peroxisomal membrane.

In the first part of my project we are going to isolate ultrapure peroxisomes, followed to proteomic analysis to see if we get any hits on novel proteins with emphasis on the membrane integrated proteins capable of transport.

The second part of my project is about looking into the possibility of dual localization of known mitochondrial inner membrane transporter proteins and if these are also found in the peroxisomal membranes. Metabolic pathways such as the glyoxylate cycle, which is partially routed through peroxisomes and TCA cycle found in the mitochondrial share numerous small molecules. A number of transport proteins, for small TCA cycle molecule exchange are found in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Yet, no transports proteins of similar molecules have been identified in the peroxisomal membrane. This of course raises the questing if such transporters even exists and that pore forming proteins might be responsible for unspecific exchange of small molecules and solutes between the cytosol and the peroxisomal matrix. However, protein deletion studies have revealed that even when knocking out the candidates suspected to form pores in the peroxisomal membrane, the substrates shared between the glyoxylate -and the TCA cycle are still present within the peroxisomal matrix.

The third part of my project strongly related to the bioinformatic studies required in order to interpret the results obtained from the proteomic analysis. Further, we will scrutinize various databases, screens and GFP-fusion protein libraries that could reveal more information needed to identify novel transport -or pore forming proteins in the peroxisomal membrane.

My scientific interests are split between the excitement of discovery that remains within cell biology and what is possible on the very frontier of synthetic biology in regard new methods and novel biological features.

However, I do also follow and enjoy reading about several physics project around the world such as the Large Hadron Collider, European Spallation Source, the Hubble -and James Webb telescope, SpaceX, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration project and many more.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends, gaming, biking, reading about advancements in technology, history and the latest in archeology. Also, going to flee markets to find new items for my ever-expanding collection of pottery, vases and other handcrafted ceramic items of interesting shapes and intricate colors.

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grant number 812968