About Dr Ingrid Gelissen

Dr Gelissen is a cell biologist and her team studies the regulation of ABC transporter proteins, including post-translational regulation by E3-ubiquitin ligases.

Dr Gelissen initially completed a Master in Nutrition at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. After working as a research associate for several years overseas and in Sydney, she completed her PhD degree at the Heart Research Institute, the University of Sydney, supported by an NH&MRC scholarship. Since graduating in 2000, she has completed post-doctoral positions at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas and the Centre for Vascular Research at the University of New South Wales in Sydney where she was awarded a prestigious Vice-Chancellors Post-doctoral Fellowship. She joined the School of Pharmacy as a lecturer in 2010 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2014. In 2017, she was awarded a University of Sydney Thompson Fellowship to foster her research into the role of ABC transporter proteins in the setting of Alzheimer’s disease.

• Academic Leader Research Education (Sydney Pharmacy School; 2019 onwards)
• Editorial Board Member of Int. J. Mol. Sci. and BBA Mol. Cell. Biol. Lipids
• H-index of 20 (as of 2019), with 43 career publications and > 2200 citations.
• Lead editor of volume of Methods in Molecular Biology titled "Cholesterol Homeostasis" (2017)
• Since 2010, Dr Gelissen has been primary supervisor of 8 Honours students (one receiving a University medal), 5 PhD students (2 completed), 3 summer vacation students and 2 overseas visiting students. In addition, she has been or is currently co-supervisor for 5 additional students (3 Honours and 2 PhD) with collaborators at UTS and ANU.

Research Directions of the Gelissen Lab
1) The role of ABC-lipid transporters in health and disease, including cardiovascular disease and inflammation in the lung (in collaboration with Prof. Alaina Ammit, UTS and Woolcock Institute, Sydney).ABC-transporters are membrane proteins involved in the translocation of substrates across cellular membranes. A number of lipid transporters, including ABCA1 and ABCG1, are involved in removing cholesterol and other lipids from cells, a process that is important in the maintenance of cellular lipid homeostasis. Dysregulation of cholesterol homeostasis is of interest to a number of diseases including atherosclerosis, which causes cardiovascular disease and neurogenerative diseases. The basic mechanisms by which these transporters operate is poorly understood, as is their post-translational regulation. These aspects are under investigation in the Gelissen lab, including the role of E3-ubiquitin ligases in the modulation of transporter function.
2) New insights into the contribution of ABC-transporters to the export of amyloid-beta peptides from cells in the brain (in collaboration with A/Prof. Richard Callaghan, ANU Canberra).
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and is a large growing burden on our health system. A critical factor is the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Ab) peptides in the brain, which are toxic to neurons and impair synaptic function. The mechanism of export of Ab peptides from neurons and removal via efflux across the blood brain barrier (BBB) endothelium has been poorly elucidated. Several members of the ABC transporter family have been implicated in this process, including ABCB1 (better known as P-glycoprotein) and lipid transporters such as ABCG1 and ABCG4. This project investigates common mechanisms by which these transporters are regulated and why this specific ABC-transporter mediated clearance pathway may be compromised in AD

Selected publications

1. Alrosan A, Aleidi SM, Yang A, Brown AJ, Gelissen IC. The adaptor protein ALIX is involved in the interaction between the ubiquitin E3 ligase NEDD4 and its targets, ABCG1 and ABCG4. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019; Jun2; 20.

2. Aleidi SM, Yang A, Sharpe LJ, Rao G, Cochran BJ, Rye KA, Kockx M, Brown AJ, Gelissen IC. The E3-ubiquitin ligase, HECTD1, is involved in ABCA1-mediated cholesterol export from macrophages. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2018; 1863:359-368.

3. Chai MB, Ammit AJ, Gelissen IC. Examining the role of ABC lipid transporters in pulmonary lipid homeostasis and inflammation. Resp. Res. 2017; 18:41.

4. Luu W, Sharpe LJ, Capell-Hattam, I, Gelissen IC, Brown AJ. Oxysterols: old tale, new twists. Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 2016; 56:447-467.

5. Aleidi SM, Howe V, Sharpe LJ, Yang A, Rao G, Brown AJ, Gelissen IC. The E3-ubiquitin ligases, HUWE1 and NEDD4-1, are involved in the post-translational regulation of the ABCG1 and ABCG4 lipid transporters. J. Biol. Chem. 2015; 290:24604-24613.

6. Sharpe LJ, Rao G, Jones PM, Glancey E, Aleidi SM, George AM, Brown AJ, Gelissen IC. Cholesterol sensing by the ABCG1 lipid transporter: requirement of a CRAC motif in the final transmembrane domain. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (Mol Cell Biol Lipids) 2015; 1851:956-64.

7. Luu W, Sharpe LJ, Gelissen IC, Brown AJ. The role of signalling in cellular cholesterol homeostasis. IUBMB Life 2013; 65:675-84.

8. Burns V, Sharpe LJ, Gelissen IC, Brown AJ. Species variation in ABCG1 isoform expression: implications for the use of animal models in elucidating ABCG1 function. Atherosclerosis 2013; 226: 408-411. 

9. Gelissen IC, Sharpe LJ, Sandoval C, Rao G, Kockx M, Kritharides L, Jessup W, Brown AJ. Protein kinase A modulates the activity of a major human isoform of ABCG1. J. Lipid Res. 2012; 53:2133-2140.

10. Out R, Jessup W, Le Goff W, Hoekstra M, Gelissen IC, Zhao Y, Kritharides L, Chimini G, Kuiper J, Chapman MJ, Huby T, van Berkel TJ, Van Eck M. Coexistence of foam cells and hypocholesterolemia in mice lacking the ABC transporter A1 and G1. Circ. Res. 2008; 102:113-130.