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Marcos Alcocer

Associate Professor in Biochemistry, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Associate Professor in Biochemistry

1988-1992 PhD - Biochemistry/Immunology- Institute of Food Research/University of East Anglia, UK. 1986-1988 MSc - Pharmacy and Biochemistry-University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 1979-1984 BSc - Pharmacy and Biochemistry-University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 1975-1978 Food Sciences & Technology-Technical degree- Colegio Tecnico Unicamp, Brazil

Employment history

2010- Associate Professor - School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham. 2004-2010, Lecturer - School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham. 2000-2004, Senior Research Fellow - School of Biology, University of Nottingham.1997-2000, Research Associate - Institute of Food Research, Norwich. 1995-1996, Lecturer - University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 1992-1994, Research Associate - Genetics Department, John Innes Institute, Norwich. 1988-1992, PhD Student - Institute of Food Research/University of East Anglia. 1986-1988, MSc Student - University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.1985-1986, QC -Manager - Industrias Reunidas Jaragua, Jaragua, SC, Brazil. 1977-1984, R & D technician - General Foods, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Expertise Summary

Our research interests fall into two main areas: Protein expression/folding and Food allergy. Our aim is to understand why common food proteins are recognized by the immune system as "foreign" whilst other proteins with similar structures are tolerated? Our model systems: nuts proteins (plant 2S albumins).

Current research areas in the lab include:

Allergy diagnostics: we are developing new tools for the clinical diagnose of allergies and safety of vaccines by (i) validating a comprehensive basophil x protein microarray system and (ii) further developing a comprehensive protein microarray and mathematical modelling system.

Protein allergenicity: we are characterising the intrinsic allergenicity determinants of major plant derived allergens to use as predictors of allergenicity in novel food proteins.

NKT work: we are setting up cell based systems to study the role of key lipid mediators on sensitisation and intrinsic allergenicity of proteins.

Protein expression: by developing new strategies for the production of properly folded and in vivo biotinylated proteins in the yeast system, we are developing new tools on the area of nanoparticles and phage display technology.

Teaching Summary

Main Teaching activities:

Principles of Immunology (module convener) 2nd year: In this module the students are introduced to basic mechanisms of the innate and adaptive response.

Basic Biochemistry 1st year: In this module the students are introduced to basic mechanisms of amino acid regulation and biosynthesis, protein folding and nucleic acid biosynthesis.

Food Safety 2nd year:In this module the students are introduced to food allergy and general food safety.

Research Summary

Current research areas in the lab include:

• Allergy diagnostics: we are developing new tools for the clinical diagnose of allergies and safety of vaccines by (i) validating a comprehensive basophil x protein microarray system and (ii) further developing a comprehensive protein microarray and mathematical modelling system.

• Protein allergenicity: we are characterising the intrinsic allergenicity determinants of major plant derived allergens to use as predictors of allergenicity in novel food proteins.

• NKT work: we are setting up cell based systems to study the role of key lipid mediators on sensitisation and intrinsic allergenicity of proteins.

• Protein expression: by developing new strategies for the production of properly folded and in vivo biotinylated proteins in the yeast system, we are developing new tools on the area of nanoparticles and phage display technology.

Selected Publications

Past Research

The ability to design, label and analyse the 3D structure of proteins has generated a series of parallel work in the expression area (1-7). In collaboration with the School of Biology, Nottingham and University of Cambridge work is been carried out in order to understand how eukaryotic cells (mainly fungi) process, fold and regulate protein secretion (3-7). Several mutant proteins have now been produced, labelled and analysed at structural level (1,2). In collaboration with the University of Strathclyde the immunogenicity of the parasitic ES-62 was assessed (3).

Selected publications

1- KUMITA et al., (2006) Secreted levels and stability of two novel human lysozyme variants (W64R and F57I) associated with hereditary renal amyloidosis. FEBS Journal, 273: 711-720. 2- JOHNSON et al., (2005) Rationalising lysozyme amyloidosis:insight from the structure and solution dynamics of T70N lysozyme. Journal of Molecular Biology, 352(4):823-836. 3- AL-SHEIKH et al., (2004) - Endoplasmic reticulum stress leads to the selective transcriptional down-regulation of the glucoamylase gene in Aspergillus niger. MolecularMicrobiology 53(6):1731-1742. 4- DYER et al., (2003). Identification of a mating-type gene in the homothallic fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Fungal Genetics Newsletter 50 (Supplement): 145 5- ALCOCER et al., (2003). Comparison of modular and non-modular xylanases as carrier proteins for the efficient secretion of heterologous protein in Penicillium funiculosum. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 60:726-732. 6- BELSHAW eta al., (2002). Use of a histone H4 promoter to drive the expression of homologous and heterologous proteins by Penicillium funiculosum. Applied Microb. Biotechnol. 60:455-460. 7- FURNISS et al., (2002) A family 11 xylanase from Penicillium funiculosum Is strongly inhibited by three wheat xylanase inhibitors. Biophysical Biochemica Acta. 1598:24-29. 8- EGAN et al., (2005) Lack of immunological cross-reactivity between native and recombinant forms of ES-62, a secreted protein of Acanthocheilonema vitae. Parasitology, 132:1-12.

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

For all enquiries please visit:
www.nottingham.ac.uk/enquire

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