Dr Alejandra Tomas obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at UCL in 2003, where she worked on the elucidation of the cellular roles of the calcium- and membrane-binding family of annexin proteins.
She then took up a postdoctoral position at the University of Geneva Medical School, Switzerland, where she analysed diverse aspects of the regulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells, primarily related to the role of the cytoskeleton in insulin exocytosis and the relationship between the secretory and endocytic pathways.
In 2009 she joined the Department of Biochemistry at University of Geneva where she focused on the study of receptor trafficking along the endocytic pathway, an area of research she continued to develop at UCL following her move back to the UK in 2011.
In 2015, Alejandra was awarded a New Investigator Research Grant by the MRC to set up an independent research group within the Section of Cell Biology and Functional Genomics to study the role of membrane receptor trafficking in the modulation of signalling and function of pancreatic beta cells.
Her laboratory is pursuing a number of investigations based on the study of the spatiotemporal regulation of signalling of the GLP-1 receptor and other key receptors involved in the control of blood glucose levels and related metabolic parameters.
Tomas A, Jones B, Leech C, 2020, New insights into beta cell GLP-1 receptor and cAMP signaling, Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol:432, ISSN:0022-2836, Pages:1347-1366
et al., 2019, Ureidopeptide GLP-1 analogues with prolonged activity in vivo via signal bias and altered receptor trafficking, Chemical Science, Vol:42, ISSN:2041-6520, Pages:9872-9879
et al., 2019, Agonist-induced membrane nanodomain clustering drives GLP-1 receptor responses in pancreatic beta cells., PLOS Biology, Vol:17, ISSN:1544-9173, Pages:1-40
et al., 2018, Targeting GLP-1 receptor trafficking to improve agonist efficacy, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723
et al., 2018, Control of insulin secretion by GLP-1, Peptides, Vol:100, ISSN:0196-9781, Pages:75-84
et al., 2018, Conditional and reversible activation of class A and B G protein-coupled receptors using tethered pharmacology, Acs Central Science, Vol:4, ISSN:2374-7943, Pages:166-179
et al., 2017, A targeted RNAi screen identifies endocytic trafficking factors that control GLP-1 receptor signaling in pancreatic beta cells, Diabetes, Vol:67, ISSN:0012-1797, Pages:385-399
et al., 2017, Potent prearranged positive allosteric modulators of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor, Chemistryopen, Vol:6, ISSN:2191-1363, Pages:501-505