Callista Harper

To enable sustained neurotransmission, synaptic vesicles within the presynaptic nerve terminal undergo multiple rounds of recycling.

Contact type
First name
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Organisation 1
Hugh Robson Building
Organisation 2
15 George Square
Organisation 3
Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Personal profile

  • Research Officer, Queensland Brain Institute, Australia, 2013 - 2014. 
  • PhD (Neuroscience), University of Queensland, Australia, 2010 - 2014. 
  • Research Assistant, Queensland Brain Institute, Australia, 2009 - 2010.


To enable sustained neurotransmission, synaptic vesicles within the presynaptic nerve terminal undergo multiple rounds of recycling. With each round, the myriad of proteins on a synaptic vesicle need to be incorporated to enable the vesicle to be fully functional.

I am interested in understanding how synaptic vesicle proteins interact with each other to facilitate this process and how dysregulation can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders and epilepsy.

Recent publications

Harper CB, Mancini GMS, van Slegtenhorst M, Cousin MA. Altered synaptobrevin-II trafficking in neurons expressing a synaptophysin mutation associated with a severe neurodevelopmental disorder. Neurobiol Dis. (2017) 108:298-306.

Joensuu M, Padmanabhan P, Durisic N, Bademosi AT, Cooper-Williams E, Morrow IC, Harper CB, Jung W, Parton RG, Goodhill GJ, Papadopulos A, Meunier FA. Subdiffractional tracking of internalized molecules reveals heterogenous motion states of synaptic vesicles. J Cell Biol. (2016) 215:277-292.

Wang T, Martin S, Nguyen TH, Harper CB, Gormal RS, Martínez-Mármol R, Karunanithi S, Coulson EJ, Glass NR, Cooper-White JJ, van Swinderen B, Meunier FA. Flux of signalling endosomes undergoing axonal retrograde transport is encoded by presynaptic activity and TrkB. Nat Commun. (2016) 7:12976.

Kasula R, Chai YJ, Bademosi AT, Harper CB, Gormal RS, Morrow IC, Hosy E, Collins BM, Choquet D, Papadopulos A, Meunier FA. The Munc18-1 domain 3a hinge-loop controls syntaxin-1A nanodomain assembly and engagement with the SNARE complex during secretory vesicle priming. J Cell Biol. (2016) 214:847-58.

Gordon SL, Harper CB, Smillie KJ, Cousin MA. A fine balance of synaptophysin levels underlies efficient retrieval of synaptobrevin II to synaptic vesicles. PLoS One. (2016) 11:e014957.

Harper CB, Papadopulos A, Martin S, Matthews DR, Morgan GP, Nguyen TH, Wang T, Nair D, Choquet D, Meunier FA. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles. Sci Rep. (2016) 6:19654.

Wang T, Martin S, Papadopulos A, Harper CB, Mavl­­yutov TA, Niranjan D, Glass NR, Cooper-White JJ, Sibarita JB, Choquet D, Davletov B, Meunier FA. Control of autophagosome axonal retrograde flux by presynaptic activity unveiled using botulinum neurotoxin type a. J Neurosci. (2015) 35:6179-94. 

Martin S#, Harper CB#, May LM, Coulson EJ, Meunier FA, Osborne SL. PIKfyve inhibition dysregulates autophagic trafficking and leads to apoptosis-independent neuronal cell death. PLoS One. (2013) 8:e60512 #both authors contributed equally to the work.

Harper CB, Popoff MR, McCluskey A, Robinson PJ, Meunier FA. (2013) Targeting membrane trafficking in infection prophylaxis: dynamin inhibitors. Trends Cell Biol. 23:90-10.

Harper CB, Martin S, Nguyen TH, Daniels SJ, Lavidis NA, Popoff MR, Hadzic G, Mariana A, Chau N, McCluskey A, Robinson PJ, Meunier FA. Dynamin inhibition blocks botulinum neurotoxin type-A endocytosis in neurons and delays botulism. J Biol Chem. (2011) 286:35966-76.