Colin Rickman


+44 (0)131 451 4193


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Room 2.03
William Perkin Building
Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS
United Kingdom

Colin is a research group leader in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3) at Heriot-Watt University. He studies the biological process of regulated secretion using both in vitro and in vivo approaches. Central to this work is the application of super-resolution microscopy to study the organisation, regulation and function of the core proteins involved at secretion at the single-protein level. He is an expert in the application of dSTORM, PALM, sptPALM and the analysis of these datasets. To study protein-protein interactions in cellular environments he utilises TCSPC-FLIM to quantify FRET measurements. Current research in Colin Rickman’s group centres on the studying of insulin secretion (MRC Funded), the application of novel CMOS based sensors in super-resolution (ERC Funded) and the development of new labelling and detection technologies for super-resolution microscopy.


The localisation of single molecules of secretory fusion proteins at the plasma membrane of a neuroendocrine cell (red hot) in relation to the fusing vesicles (green)

Some relevant publications:

  • Wilson, R. S., Yang, L., Dun, A., Smyth, A. M., Duncan, R. R., Rickman, C. & Lu, W. Automated single particle detection and tracking for large microscopy datasets (2016) Royal Society Open Science. 3, 5, 160225
  • Marker-Less Stage Drift Correction in Super-Resolution Microscopy Using the Single-Cluster PHD Filter Schlangen, I., Franco, J., Houssineau, J., Pitkeathly, E., Clark, D., Smal, I. & Rickman, C. (2016) IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. 10, 1, p. 193-202
  • Translation Microscopy (TRAM) for super-resolution imaging Qiu, Z., Wilson, R. S., Liu, Y., Dun, A., Saleeb, R. S., Liu, D., Rickman, C., Frame, M., Duncan, R. & Lu, W. (2016) Scientific Reports. 6, 19993
  • Visualization of the Serratia Type VI Secretion System Reveals Unprovoked Attacks and Dynamic Assembly Gerc, A., Diepold, A., Trunk, K., Porter, M., Rickman, C., Armitage, J., Stanley-Wall, N. & Coulthurst, S. (2015) Cell Reports. 12, 12, p. 2131-2142
  • A molecular toggle after exocytosis sequesters the presynaptic syntaxin1a molecules involved in prior vesicle fusion Kavanagh, D., Smyth, A. M., Martin, K. J., Dun, A., Brown, E. R., Gordon, S., Smillie, K. J., Chamberlain, L. H., Wilson, R. S., Yang, L., Lu, W., Cousin, M. A., Rickman, C. & Duncan, R. R. (2014) Nature Communications. 5, 5774
  • Functional, quantitative, and super-resolution imaging and spectroscopic approaches for studying exocytosis Duncan, R. R. & Rickman, C. (2014) Exocytosis Methods. Vol. 83, p. 75-91 17 p. (Neuromethods)
  • Flashing a light on the spatial organization of transcription Rickman, C. & Bickmore, W. A. (2013) Science. 341, 6146, p. 621-622
  • Kindlin-1 regulates mitotic spindle formation by interacting with integrins and Plk-1
  • Patel, H., Zich, J., Serrels, B., Rickman, C., Hardwick, K. G., Frame, M. C. & Brunton, V. G. (2013) Nature Communications. 4, p. 2056
  • Munc 18-1 Protein Molecules Move between Membrane Molecular Depots Distinct from Vesicle Docking Sites Smyth, A. M., Yang, L., Martin, K. J., Hamilton, C., Lu, W., Cousin, M. A., Rickman, C. & Duncan, R. R. (2013) Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288, 7, p. 5102-5113
  • Exocytosis through the Lens Graczyk, A. & Rickman, C. (2013) Frontiers in Endocrinology. 4, p. 147
  • Secretory vesicles are preferentially targeted to areas of low molecular SNARE density Yang, L., Dun, A., Martin, K. J., Qiu, Z., Dunn, A., Lord, G. J., Lu, W., Duncan, R. R. & Rickman, C. (2012) PLOS ONE. 7, 11, p. e49514