Professor Frederic Meunier obtained his Masters degree in Neurophysiology at the Paris XI University, France in 1992 and completed his Ph.D in Neurobiology at the CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette, France in 1996. He was the recipient of a European Biotechnology Fellowship and went on to postgraduate work at the Department of Biochemistry at Imperial College (1997-1999) and at Cancer Research UK (2000-2002) in London, UK. After a short sabbatical at the LMB-MRC in Cambridge (UK), he became a group leader at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2003. He joined the Queensland Brain Institute of the University of Queensland in 2007 and obtained an NHMRC senior research fellowship in 2009.
His laboratory has identified a critical role for phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate in coordinating an actin-mediated recruitment of secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane. This active mechanism allows secretory mechanism to dock with the plasma membrane prior fusion and is controlled by cdc42. This discovery published in Nature Communications was highlighted in the F1000. He has recently uncovered a new mechanism allowing secretory vesicles to be recruited on the cortical actin network via Myosin VI (Tomatis et al., Journal of Cell Biology, 2013). He has demonstrated that the protein Munc18-1 was responsible for the transport of Syntaxin-1 to the plasma membrane. This novel trafficking/chaperoning pathway underpins neurotransmission as secretory vesicles rely on the zippering of SNARE proteins such as Syntaxin-1 to undergo fusion with the plasma membrane.