Imperial College London

Dr Alejandra Tomas

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Non-Clinical Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 3364a.tomas-catala Website CV




329ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus





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 cellular function of pancreatic beta cells.

She is currently leading a collaborative project to investigate the trafficking and signalling properties of biased GLP-1 receptor agonists with improved therapeutic profiles.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Jones B, Buenaventura T, Kanda N, et al., 2018, Targeting GLP-1 receptor trafficking to improve agonist efficacy, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Jones B, Bloom S, Buenaventura T, et al., 2018, Control of insulin secretion by GLP-1, Peptides, Vol:100, ISSN:0196-9781, Pages:75-84

Podewin T, Ast J, Broichhagen J, 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

Buenaventura T, Kanda N, Douzenis PC, 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

Tomas A, Jones S, Vaughan SO, et al., 2017, Stress-specific p38 MAPK activation is sufficient to drive EGFR endocytosis but not its nuclear translocation, Journal of Cell Science, Vol:130, ISSN:0021-9533, Pages:2481-2490

Jones BJ, Scopelliti R, Tomas A, et al., 2017, Potent prearranged positive allosteric modulators of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor, Chemistryopen, Vol:6, ISSN:2191-1363, Pages:501-505

Kanda N, Buenaventura T, Correa Jr IR, et al., Co-operation between Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Receptor in Pancreatic Beta Cell Survival during Oxidative stress, Emj Diabetes, ISSN:2054-6181

Muriel O, Tomas Catala ADD, Scott CC, et al., 2016, Moesin and cortactin control actin-dependent multivesicular endosome biogenesis., Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol:27, ISSN:1059-1524, Pages:3305-3316

Solomou A, Meur G, Bellomo E, et al., 2015, The Zinc Transporter Slc30a8/ZnT8 Is Required in a Subpopulation of Pancreatic α-Cells for Hypoglycemia-induced Glucagon Secretion., J Biol Chem, Vol:290, Pages:21432-21442

Tomas A, Vaughan SO, Burgoyne T, et al., 2015, WASH and Tsg101/ALIX-dependent diversion of stress-internalized EGFR from the canonical endocytic pathway, Nature Communications, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-1723

Tomas A, Futter CE, 2015, Stress reveals new destination for EGF receptor., Cell Cycle, Vol:14, Pages:3343-3344

Tomas A, Futter CE, Eden ER, 2013, EGF receptor trafficking: consequences for signaling and cancer, Trends in Cell Biology, Vol:24, ISSN:1879-3088, Pages:26-34

Rondas D, Tomas A, Soto-Ribeiro M, et al., 2011, Novel Mechanistic Link between Focal Adhesion Remodeling and Glucose-stimulated Insulin Secretion, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:287, ISSN:1083-351X, Pages:2423-2436

Rondas D, Tomas A, Halban PA, 2011, Focal Adhesion Remodeling Is Crucial for Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion and Involves Activation of Focal Adhesion Kinase and Paxillin, Diabetes, Vol:60, ISSN:0012-1797, Pages:1146-1157

Tomas A, Yermen B, Regazzi R, et al., 2009, Regulation of Insulin Secretion by Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-Bisphosphate, Traffic, Vol:11, ISSN:1600-0854, Pages:123-137

Hammar E, Tomas A, Bosco D, et al., 2009, Role of the Rho-ROCK (Rho-Associated Kinase) Signaling Pathway in the Regulation of Pancreatic beta-Cell Function, Endocrinology, Vol:150, ISSN:0013-7227, Pages:2072-2079

Marzban L, Tomas A, Becker TC, et al., 2008, Small Interfering RNA-Mediated Suppression of Proislet Amyloid Polypeptide Expression Inhibits Islet Amyloid Formation and Enhances Survival of Human Islets in Culture, Diabetes, Vol:57, ISSN:0012-1797, Pages:3045-3055

Tomas A, Meda P, Regazzi R, et al., 2008, Munc 18-1 and granuphilin collaborate during insulin granule exocytosis, Traffic, Vol:9, ISSN:1398-9219, Pages:813-832

Jaques F, Jousset H, Tomas A, et al., 2008, Dual effect of cell-cell contact disruption on cytosolic calcium and insulin secretion, Endocrinology, Vol:149, ISSN:0013-7227, Pages:2494-2505

Bouzakri K, Ribaux P, Tomas A, et al., 2008, Rab GTPase-activating protein AS160 is a major downstream effector of protein kinase B/Akt signaling in pancreatic beta-cells, Diabetes, Vol:57, ISSN:0012-1797, Pages:1195-1204

Min L, Leung YM, Tomas A, et al., 2007, Dynamin Is Functionally Coupled to Insulin Granule Exocytosis, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:282, ISSN:1083-351X, Pages:33530-33536

Yermen B, Tomas A, Halban PA, 2007, Pro-survival role of gelsolin in mouse beta-cells, Diabetes, Vol:56, ISSN:0012-1797, Pages:80-87

Tomas A, Yermen B, Min L, et al., 2006, Regulation of pancreatic β-cell insulin secretion by actin cytoskeleton remodelling: role of gelsolin and cooperation with the MAPK signalling pathway, Journal of Cell Science, Vol:119, ISSN:1477-9137, Pages:2156-2167

Tomas A, Futter C, Moss SE, 2004, Annexin 11 is required for midbody formation and completion of the terminal phase of cytokinesis, Journal of Cell Biology, Vol:165, ISSN:0021-9525, Pages:813-822

Tomas A, Moss SE, 2003, Calcium- and cell cycle-dependent association of annexin 11 with the nuclear envelope, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:278, ISSN:0021-9258, Pages:20210-20216


Tomas A, Hayes M, Roy D, et al., 2003, Annexin Gene Knock-Out Models, The Annexins – Biological importance and Annexin-related Pathologies, Landes Bioscience

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