Dr Claire Newton
Dr Newton is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre for Neuroendocrinology at the University of Pretoria. She received a PhD in receptor pharmacology from the University or Reading, UK (in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline) and undertook postdoctoral research positions within the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, UK and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research focuses on the molecular functioning of neuroendocrine G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and particularly the mechanisms underlying disease-causing genetic dysfunctions of GPCRs and how these may be informative of novel signalling pathways and may be overcome therapeutically using pharmacological chaperones. Her expertise in the emerging area of pharmacological chaperone therapeutics places her in a unique position as one of very few researchers worldwide currently involved in this exciting, but embryonic, field.
Dr Ross Anderson
Dr Anderson is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Physiology at the University of Pretoria and has a research group within the Centre for Neuroendocrinology (of which he was one of the founding members). His research is heavily grounded in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell signalling and focusses on: (i) The discovery and characterisation of pharmacological chaperones (small molecules that rescue the cell surface expression of intracellularly retained GPCR mutants); (ii) Identification of novel hypothalamic GPCRs involved in the control of reproduction and (iii) Biased signalling of neuroendocrine GPCRs and GPCR mutants.
Dr Iman van den Bout
After undergraduate and MSc studies in Genetics at the University of Pretoria, Dr Iman van den Bout moved to the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where he completed his PhD in Medical Biology. During this time he studied the role of integrins in gene expression and published papers on the ability of Src to regulate integrin activity and on integrin regulation of the protein MacMARCKS. After his PhD Dr van den Bout moved to Manchester in the UK where he undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Cancer Research UK Institute, Manchester. Here he investigated the role of phosphoinositide regulation in cancer metastasis. Dr van den Bout was accepted for a Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pretoria in 2014 which he undertook in the group of Prof Annie Joubert investigating the ability of novel estrogen metabolite derivatives to inhibit cancer metastasis and identifying a compound with novel activity in inhibiting cancer cell adhesion. At the same time, he established a 3D cancer cell spheroid system as new testing platform for novel compounds which has won awards at different conferences for its novelty. In 2016, Dr van den Bout was appointed as a lecturer within the Department of Physiology. His research group moved to the Centre for Neuroendocrinology in 2017. Currently, his research is focused on the role of hormone dependent G-protein coupled receptors in prostate and breast cancer with a specific focus on the alternative estrogen receptor GPER and the kisspeptin receptor KISS1R and their influence on cell migration.