Prof Alpha Yap is a Group Leader and Head of the Division of Molecular Cell Biology at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland and a Research Fellow of the NHMRC. After clinical training in Internal Medicine/Endocrinology and graduate studies in Cell Physiology, he undertook post-doctoral research with Barry Gumbiner at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center before returning to Australia to establish his independent research group. His laboratory studies the cellular mechanisms responsible for cadherin-dependent morphogenesis, notably the signalling pathways that support functional and molecular cooperation between cadherin cell adhesion and the cytoskeleton. His group is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and Australian Research Council. Alpha Yap was President of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology from 2006-2008. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Molecular Biology of the Cell and Current Biology.
Within the EMPathy network he leads the Mechanisms stream. Here, he and his group will apply their expertise in cell biology to analyse how target molecules discovered by the consortium affect tumor cell-cell interactions, migration and patterning.
Key Achievements and Awards
- Vice-Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Signaling by Adhesion Receptors (2014)
- Discovery of actin regulators that control junctional contractility and oncogenic cell extrusion
(Kovacs et al., 2011; Wu, Gomez et al., 2014)
- Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (2013)
- President’s Medal of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology (2013)
- Discovery of pathways that regulate Rho signaling at cell-cell junctions (Ratheesh, Gomez et al., 2012)
- Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Cell Contact & Adhesion (2011)