Alexander Heberle

Alexander Martin Heberle, PhD

Junior Group Leader, Post-Doctoral Researcher

Institute of Biochemistry
University of Innsbruck
Room no. L.03.032

Center for Chemistry and Biomedicine (CCB) Innrain 80-82, 6020 Innsbruck / Austria
Phone: +43 512 507 - 57521 | Fax: +43 512 507 - 57599

Research Interest

Our lab focuses on cellular responses to stress metabolism with a focus on cell signalling. Organismal growth and viability require the adaptation of biosynthetic processes to environmental conditions such as nutrient availability and stress. To maintain cellular homeostasis under stress, cells have evolved signalling networks responding to extrinsic and intrinsic stimuli, leading to an adapted “stress metabolism” until the unfavourable condition is resolved.

Our research aims to identify factors and pathways promoting cellular survival by balancing cell signalling and metabolism under stress. One key integrator of signalling and metabolism under stress is the kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). In response to nutrient availability, mTOR promotes virtually all anabolic processes, including protein synthesis, and inhibits catabolic processes such as autophagy to enhance cellular growth. While mTOR promotes the translation of stress-related proteins and drives stress granule formation, the molecular mechanisms of mTOR regulation under stress are poorly defined. We also aim to develop new therapeutic approaches for mTOR and stress related diseases. Since metabolic stress is characterized by unbalanced anabolism versus catabolism, we investigate concepts to normalise or exploit such imbalances for therapy.

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