The 2011 Boomerang Award: Victor Anggono
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Johns Hopkins University
Victor Anggono's research career began as an undergraduate student at the University of New South Wales. He spent two summers at the Australian National University and gained his first basic skills in microbiology and molecular biology. During his Honours year, he worked in Professor Michael Murray’s laboratory at the Department of Pharmacology investigating the signalling pathway by which nitric oxide down-regulates the expression of cytochrome-P450 2J2 in HepG2 cells. For this work, he was awarded the DI McCloskey Prize from UNSW and the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists Toxicology Prize. In 2003, Victor pursued his PhD study in the laboratory of Professor Phil Robinson at the Children’s Medical Research Institute. He was awarded an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and a University of Sydney Postgraduate Award to study the roles of dynamin I phosphorylation in regulating synaptic vesicle trafficking in presynaptic nerve terminals. In 2004, he was awarded an Australia Bicentennial Scholarship from King’s College London and went to the University of Edinburgh to work with Dr Michael Cousin for three months. During this time, he revealed that dynamin phosphorylation sites play essential roles in synaptic vesicle endocytosis. He then discovered the protein syndapin as the phosphorylation-regulated partner for dynamin. His research on dynamin phosphorylation resulted in five publications, including one in Nature Neuroscience. For his doctoral work, Victor was awarded the Peter Bancroft Prize from the University of Sydney and an ASBMB Fellowship.
With support from an International Human Frontiers Science Program Long Term Fellowship and an NHMRC Biomedical Overseas Fellowship, Victor undertook his postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore under the mentorship of Professor Richard Huganir. In Huganir’s lab, Victor has focused on the cellular function of a PDZ and BAR domain protein, PICK1, in regulating AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking and synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate of learning and memory. He found that PICK1 interacts with syndapin to control activity-dependent recycling of AMPARs. Recently, Victor’s has uncovered a role for PICK1 in regulating the composition, abundance and trafficking of AMPARs during homeostatic synaptic plasticity. His current interest is in the regulation of AMPAR function by protein ubiquitination. Victor plans to continue his work upon returning home to Australia next year. With his Boomerang award, Victor will travel to ComBio2011 in Cairns, then on to Brisbane and Sydney to visit investigators and present seminars at the Queensland Brain Institute, Neuroscience Research Australia, Garvan Institute, Children’s Medical Research Institute and Brain and Mind Research Institute.