I am a PhD student working the group of Zoya Ignatova. Cellular and extracellular changes like crowding and osmotic stress conditions play a major role in protein aggregation. A change in the cytoplasmic composition is the result of an interplay between high osmotic pressures outside the cell volume and the cellular response to it in terms of uptake of K+ and secondary organic osmolytes. My research focuses on elucidating the role of natural osmolytes (known also as chemical chaperones or compatible solutes) that modulate protein aggregation propensity. I am using fluorescent recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and several biochemical and biophysical methods to understand the effect of different osmolytes to counteract cellular crowing and their influence on the mobility of different protein aggregate species.
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