Lenette Frøsig Kjær works at the Institut de Biologie Structurale.

 

Her project: Structure, dynamics and assembly of super-scaffolding complexes in MAPK cell signaling

Hello, I am Lenette from Denmark. I am a 1st year PhD student at the Grenoble Institute of Structural Biology (IBS) working under the supervision of Malene Ringkjøbing-Jensen on the structure, dynamics and assembly of super-scaffolding complexes in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cell signalling.

I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh where I studied Medicinal and Biological Chemistry. With my chemistry background I have always been fascinated by the relationship between molecular structure and function – particularly in the context of the human body – and during the course of my degree I became increasingly interested in structural biology. For my thesis I use a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) which allows us to study dynamic protein complexes involving intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) at atomic resolution and across multiple timescales. Proteins implicated in cell signalling, such as the ones we study, have some of the highest levels of disorder in the human genome. We focus on a so-called super-scaffolding complex in the MAPK pathways that consists of two IDPs binding multiple protein kinases which are sequentially activated to transmit a signal. Through our studies we aim to get a better understanding of the role of intrinsic disorder in MAPK cell signalling from how the scaffolding complex is assembled to how it helps ensure signalling specificity across the module.

Grenoble has a vibrant scientific community particularly within the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). I started my PhD just as France went into its second lockdown due to Covid-19, but despite the restrictions there are still numerous events, now online, encouraging you to share your science and widen your horizon. When the situation improves I look forward exploring the city and its beautiful surroundings more.