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Susana Paul, PhD

My research area is the neuro-endocrine system with a focus on the effects of adrenal glucocorticoids (GCs) and their involvement in an adaptive stress response. GCs released into circulation exhibit circadian and ultradian profiles, which are essential in the regulation of homeostatic and physiological pathways. GCs induce gene expression changes in targeted cells via ligand activated transcription factors, the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and the Glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which produce both physiological and adaptive responses to stress. I am interested in the sub-cellular localisation and organisation of MR and GR, their presence within protein complexes, and how they regulate cellular and transcriptional events. The role and organisation of dynamic endogenous protein complexes, such as MR:GR, are integral aspects of the molecular regulation of biological systems. During my PhD, I observed MR:GR complexes both in the absence of and following prolonged GC exposure. As part of my ongoing research I hope to further assess the role and localisation of MR:GR complexes within sub-cellular compartments, and in GC regulated cellular pathways. The specific spatial organisation of MR:GR complexes within cellular compartments highlights a diversity of signalling mechanisms following exposure to endogenous and/or synthetic steroids for acute and prolonged periods, and might provide further understanding of a beneficial and maladaptive stress response.