Developing novel antibody-based methods for regulating apoptotic cell death

Developing novel antibody-based methods for regulating apoptotic cell death

Project details

This project involves engineering antibodies for delivery inside cells to trigger apoptotic cell death. Our group found that the intracellular protein, BAK, can be directly activated by an antibody to trigger mitochondrial permeabilisation (Iyer, Nat Commun 2016, 7:11734), a crucial step in apoptotic cell death.  

This project will progress alternative means of delivering the antibody inside cancer cells, and assess the apoptosis induced in cell and pre-clinical models. Techniques involve antibody engineering, expression and purification, as well as a range of apoptosis-related techniques. 

About our research group

The Kluck lab investigates how cells die via a process called apoptosis - a normal process that helps remove excess or damaged cells. When apoptotic cell death goes wrong, the results are often cancer or autoimmune diseases.  

We are interested in the proteins inside cells that orchestrate apoptosis, in particular how two pore-forming BCL-2 family members, BAX and BAK, undergo a major conformation change to generate homo-oligomers that generate pores in the mitochondrial outer membrane. The overall goal of our research is to identify new means of specifically regulating apoptotic cell death in cancer and other diseases. 


Email supervisors



Dr Sweta Iyer in the lab
Blood Cells and Blood Cancer division

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