It is not an easy discipline, Vertegaal likes to admit that. "I say to candidate PhD students: If you want a doctor's degree soon, you should not start working on SUMO proteins. But if you like a challenge, you are welcome. " According to Vertegaal, the complexity of SUMO research lies in the fact that SUMO can bind -as far as we know - more than a thousand proteins. But how do you find out what the role of each protein is? Together they form a gigantic network that keeps the cell running.
Compliment to research group
In order to find answers to his research questions Vertegaal has gathered a talented and diverse team around him. He works with cell biologists and biochemists, but also with bioinformatics specialists and mass spectrometry experts - a method he uses a lot. "That's what I think is beautiful, for everyone to work well together. Everyone works on his or her own part, but also on our common goal. Research is teamwork and I see this appointment as a compliment to my entire research group."
Alfred will give his inaugural address entitled “Cellulaire signaal transductie netwerken moleculair ontleden en exploiteren” on Friday 23rd April 2021 at 16.00 hours. Follow live via videostream https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/wetenschappers/livestream-oratie-of-afscheidscollege