Dr Zita Balklava


Phone Number: 0121 204 3967
Email: z.balklava@aston.ac.uk
Room number:  MB343A
Office hours: 8.00am - 5.00pm

Research Group

Molecular Biomedical Research

Research Centre

Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA)  

Dr Zita Balklava

Membrane trafficking pathways target various molecules to their specific destinations within the cell as well as in and out of the cell, and thus are essential for fundamental aspects of eukaryotic life including nutrient uptake, growth factor regulation, synaptic signal transduction, infection, etc. Importance of these pathways is illustrated by the growing number of diseases and cancers associated with defects in these pathways.

A number of reports have shown that various signalling molecules physically associate with endomembranes, thus being ideally placed to control membrane traffic or traffic-mediated signalling. The research in our laboratory aims to understand how membrane trafficking and cell signalling are coupled within the cell.Powerful genetics in combination with the relatively simple cellular complexity of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been proven to be beneficial in studying membrane transport and cell signalling pathways in vivo. C.elegans Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) has been found in a genome-wide RNAi screen as a candidate regulator of constitutive secretion. The main goal of the project is to dissect the role of FGFR in controlling membrane transport.

1996    BSc in Biology, University of Latvia
1998    MSc in Biology, University of Latvia
2002    PhD in Biochemistry, Nottingham Trent University 

2009 -       Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Aston University

2008-2009 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, University of Manchester (UK)

2008 -       Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Manchester (UK) 

2003-2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Rutgers- the State University of New Jersey (USA) 

2002-2003 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (USA) 

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship was awarded November 2008.
  • Grabski, R., Balklava, Z., Wyrozumska, P., Szul, T., Brandon, E., Alvarez, C., Holloway, Z.G., and Sztul, E. (2012).
    Identifying a novel functional domain within the p115 tethering factor required for Golgi ribbon assembly and membrane trafficking. 
    J Cell Sci. 125, 1896-1909  

  • Morohashi, Y., Balklava, Z., Ball, M., Hughes, H., and Lowe, M. (2010).
    Phosphorylation and membrane dissociation of the ARF exchange factor GBF1 in mitosis. 
    Biochem J. 427, 401-412.

  • Shi. A., Pant, S., Balklava, Z., Chen, CC., Figueroa, V., and Grant, BD. (2007).
    A novel requirement for C. elegans Alix/ALX-1 in RME-1-mediated membrane transport. 
    Curr Biol. 17, 1913-1924.

  • Balklava, Z , Pant, S., Fares, H., and Grant, B.D. (2007). 
    Genome-wide analysis of membrane transport in C. elegans identifies a general requirement for polarity proteins in endocytosis. 
    Nat. Cell Biol. 9, 1066-1073.

  •  Balklava Z., Grant BD. (2005).
    The regulation of endocytosis by kinases: cell biology meets genomics. 
    Genome Biol.6 , 245.

  • Nur-E-Kamal, A.,  Gross, S.R., Pan, Balklava, Z., Ma, J. and Liu, L.F. (2004).
    Nuclear Translocation of Cytochrome C During Apoptosis.
    J.Biol. Chem.279, 24911-24914.

  • Gross, S.R., Balklava, Z. and Griffin, M. (2003). 
    Importance of tissue transglutaminase in repair of extracellular matrices and cell death of dermal fibroblasts after exposure to a solarium ultraviolet A source.
    J. Invest. Dermat., 121, 412-423.

  • Balklava, Z, Verderio, E., Collighan, R.J, Gross, S.R., Adams, J. and Griffin, M  (2002). Analysis of tissue transglutaminase in the migration of Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts: The active-state conformation of the enzyme does not affect cell motility but it is important for its secretion. 
    J. Biol. Chem.,
     277, 16567-16575

  • Licis, N., Balklava, Z. and Van Duin J. (2000).
    Forced retroevolution of an RNA bacteriophage. 
    Virology271, 298-306.

  • Licis, N., van Duin, J., Balklava, Z. and Berzins, V. (1998). 
    Long-range translational coupling in single-stranded RNA bacteriophages: an evolutionary analysis
    Nucl. Acids Res
    ., 26, 3242-3246.

Dr Zita Balklava/ Aston University / last updated Nov 2012

Excellent Different Distinctive