Ineke Braakman

The research lines in our laboratory have aimed to uncover the molecular principles of protein folding in the cell and the cellular mechanisms that maintain and control this process. While fundamental in nature, this research bears direct relevance to biotechnology, health and disease. Every protein in a cell (whether viral or cellular) needs to acquire its proper structure to become biologically active; failure to do so causes loss of function via misfolding, aggregation, or degradation. The cell controls folding processes via networks of molecular chaperones, which are regulated by cellular stress responses.

Our research aims to uncover processes and mechanisms at the molecular level, using mammalian cells in culture complemented with in-vitro translations and purified proteins. We pair molecular biology, biochemistry, and pharmacological interventions with cell biology and live-cell imaging, and embrace opportunities from virology, immunology, medicine, to organic chemistry and industry. When suitable we exploit yeast, insect, and bacterial cells.