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Professor Katalin Torok

Professor of Molecular Neuroscience
To lead internationally recognised research paired with training and teaching excellence

Professor Katalin Török investigates mechanisms that govern and regulate basic biological processes within cells.

She studies cell signalling – how information moves inside and between cells. She investigates the proteins that transmit information along signalling pathways, and how cells respond.

Her research focuses on how components of the calcium signalling pathways function and interact in neurons in processes that are relevant to the formation of memory at the molecular and cellular level.

She develops genetically encoded and chemically derivatised fluorescent protein sensors for real-time monitoring of calcium signalling and glutamate neurotransmission.

Biography

Professor Török joined St George's, University of London in 1999 as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology. She was promoted to Reader in Cell Biology in 2002 and to Professor of Molecular Neuroscience in 2019.

Prior to St George's, she was Lecturer in Biochemistry at Queen Mary and Westfield College (1997 to 1999), Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Newcastle (1995 to 1997) and Lecturer in the Department of Physiology at University College London (UCL) (1993 to 1995).

Professor Török studied for an MSc in Chemistry at Eötvös Lorand University of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary in 1976. She obtained a PhD at Semmelweis University Medical School (SOTE), in the Department of Biochemistry (1981). She was postdoctoral fellow at Boston Biomedical Research Institute in the USA (1981 to 1983), returning to Budapest and SOTE for a year to work as a staff scientist in the Department of Biochemistry.

In 1984 Professor Török joined the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill, London, where she worked for nine years, first in the Laboratory of Protein Structure and then in the Division of Physical Biochemistry.

Membership of Professional Societies and Committees

Professor Török is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Physiological Society, the Biophysical Society, ASBMB and the Biochemical Society.

At St George's, Professor Török is a member of Senate (elected academic member) and of Virtual Panel for PhD examiner approval.

 

Professional Honours and Recent Invitations

Editorial Board member for NPG Scientific Reports

Invited Speaker: 62nd Annual Meeting, Biophysical Society, New & Notable Symposium

February 2018

Invited speaker: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus Conference ‘Fluorescent proteins and Biological Sensors V’ November 2016; ‘Fluorescent proteins and Biological Sensors VI’ October 2018

Invited speaker: 36th Workshop of the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth on Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology September 2019

 

 

Professor Katalin Török investigates mechanisms that govern and regulate basic biological processes within cells.

She studies cell signalling – how information moves inside and between cells. She investigates the proteins that transmit information along signalling pathways, and how cells respond.

Her research focuses on how components of the calcium signalling pathways function and interact in neurons in processes that are relevant to the formation of memory at the molecular and cellular level.

She develops genetically encoded and chemically derivatised fluorescent protein sensors for real-time monitoring of calcium signalling and glutamate neurotransmission.

K. Török and T. Carter: Imaging glutamate in the brain using novel fast fluorescent probes
BBSRC project grant (BB/S003894/1, 1 post-doc, 1 research assistant) 2018-2021. £ 615,802.

K. Török: FastTrack GECI: Development of novel fast calcium indicators for intracellular, extracellular and in vivo imaging
BBSRC project grant (BB/M02556X /1, 1 post-doc, 1 technician) 2015-2018. £ 280,114.

K. Török: Investigation of Ca2+ and calmodulin signalling by novel calmodulin-based fluorescent probes
Wellcome Trust Project grant (094385/Z/10/Z, 1 post-doc) 2011-2015. £ 271,776.

K. Török & D. Ogden (Paris Descartes)
Novel fluorescent calmodulin-based probes for neuroelectrophysiological studies
Royal Society International Joint Project (JP100838) 2011-2013. £ 12,000.

K. Török: The role of nucleotide and protein substrates in the activation mechanism of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
Wellcome Trust Project Grant (075931/Z/04/Z, 1 post-doc) 2005-2009. £ 196,618.

K. Török: Real-time measurement of glutamate concentration.
Wellcome Trust Project Grant (060907/Z/00/Z, 1 post-doc) 2000-2004. £ 183,459.

K. TörökFunctions of calmodulin and CaMKII in neuronal calcium signalling.
Supplement to MRC Career Establishment Grant: Equipment, 2000. £ 34,420.

K. TörökFunctions of calmodulin and CaMKII in neuronal calcium signalling.
Medical Research Council Career Establishment Grant (G 9803105, 1 post-doc, 1 research technician/part-time PhD Student, Dr. R. Thorogate) 1999-2004. £ 554,628.

K. TörökMolecular mechanism and signal integrating function of the a neural isoform of calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (aCaMKII).
Wellcome Trust Project Grant (048458/Z/96/A, 1 post-doc) 1996-2002. £ 154,277.

Bolsover and K TörökIntracellular messenger signalling to the nucleus.
Wellcome Trust Project Grant (051903/Z/97/Z) 1997-2000. £ 163,452.

M.J. Whitaker and K. TörökCalcium and calmodulin control of the cell division cycle in cells in culture.
Wellcome Trust project Grant (047059/Z/96/Z) 1996-1997. £ 61,910.

R. Bolsover and K. TörökControl of growth cone by calcium.
Wellcome Trust Project Grant (045051/Z/95/Z) 1995-1997. £ 154,219

M.J. Whitaker and K. TörökThe calcium-calmodulin signalling system at fertilization and during early cycles of sea urchin embryos.
Wellcome Trust Equipment Grant (043014/Z/94/Z) 1994-1997. £ 297,443.

M.J. Whitaker and K. TörökProbes of calmodulin function in living cells.
Wellcome Trust Project Grant 1994-1995. £ 9,740.

Török: Dr. V. Bouryi, Bogomoletz Inst. Of Biophysics, Kiev, Ukraine,
Royal Society Short Visit Grant 2006.

Török‘Calmodulin imaging in neurones'
Royal Society Research Grant 1999. £ 10,000.

Török‘Multifunctional calmodulin kinase'
Royal Society Research Grant 1994. £ 10,000.

Research group

Professor Török works with Dr Alamin Mohammed, a postdoctoral research assistant, and Holly Hughes, a research assistant/part-time PhD student.

Former recent research associates:

Dr Silke Kerruth (IC)
Ms Catherine Coates (ICR)
Dr Nordine Helassa (Liverpool University)

 

Collaborations

Professor Török's collaborators include:

Dr Thomas Oertner, Institute for Synaptic Physiology, Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg, Germany
Dr Alan Fine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Professor Tom Carter, St George’s, University of London, UK

Professor Török teaches students on the MBBS and Biomedical Sciences course as well as on the post-graduate MRes and MSci courses.

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