The main research area of my group is the molecular mechanism of autophagosome biogenesis in the yeast S. cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae is successfully used as model organism to study autophagy and lead to the identification of approximately 40 autophagy-related genes (ATG).
One of the central open questions in the autophagic field is the source of the membranes required for autophagosomes formation. In S. cerevisiae, vesicles containing the transmembrane protein Atg9 deliver only part of the required membrane surface from the Golgi to the PAS. Recent data show that forming autophagosomes are linked to the endoplasmic exit sites (ERES), where COPII transport vesicles are generated, that might serve as membrane source or platform for the generation of autophagosome. Therefore, additional lipid sources must be still unknown and are focus of my interest.