Kim Bonger

Foto Kim For E-mail: K.M.Bonger@science.ru.nl
Phone: +31(0)24 3616753 / 52535
Room: 6.46 / HG 03.016

Lab website

Research

Protein homeostasis is important to maintain cellular function over time. Upon aging and disease, the capacity of the cell to maintain protein quality and homeostasis diminishes leading to an accumulation of misfolded proteins, which is associated with the onset of maladies such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Many important players in protein quality control pathways have been characterized; however, some questions remain to be elucidated. First, how are unfolded and misfolded proteins recognized? Second, how are the fates (refolding versus degradation) of unfolded proteins distinguished? Despite enormous efforts and progress in the field to answer these questions, the exact mechanisms remain elusive in part due to the lack of useful chemical and biological tools. My research is involved in the development of small molecule probes and engineered biological systems to specifically visualize, modulate and understand processes on a subcellular level and that are involved in cellular protein quality control. In addition we develop novel strategies to target and eliminate misfolded protein structures. To avoid any undesirable off-target effects, we are developing cell-type specific systems that are activated only in the presence of specific triggers. As such, a two-step small-molecule based clearance strategy will ensure that degradation is selective in cells that contain protein aggregates while healthy aggregate-free cells are not affected.

For further information and my CV please visit ORCID or ResearcherID.

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