The thyroid gland is a fascinating bioreactor where iodine is accumulated and used to synthesise thyroid hormones (TH). TH are essential for metabolism in all vertebrates and this makes them strictly dependant on iodine nutrition. In humans, thyroid disfunction severely impacts cardiovascular homeostasis, metabolism, brain development and function, with increasing incidence Worldwide. Currently, our understanding of molecular events behind thyroid hormone synthesis is far from complete and consequently of major thyroid diseases. At the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, UK) Francesca has worked on the structure of human thyroglobulin by cryoEM, the protein precursor or thyroid hormones. This work is the starting point to answer many questions on thyroid hormone levels and action, which we aim addressing with multiple approaches: structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology. Our research aims to advance our knowledge of thyroid biology and to progress towards the study of specific thyroid diseases, such as auto-immune diseases, congenital hypothyroidism and thyroid cancers. Human Technopole gives us a great opportunity to reach this goal at The Centre for Structural Biology with an excellent, international environment and cutting-edge scientific facilities. Scientists from all backgrounds interested in learning and working with us are welcome to send enquires anytime to francesca.coscia[at]fht.org.
Research group leader