Discovered the KKXX ER sorting motif (Nilsson, Jackson, Peterson, et al.).
Discovered the role of transmembrane domains as a Golgi sorting domain (Nilsson, Warren et al.).
Discovered enzyme gradients over the Golgi stack (Nilsson, Rabouille, Warren et al.).
Discovered a COP-independent recycling pathway regulated by rab6 and utilized by most enterotoxins to enter the ER and, the cytosol (Nilsson, Pepperkok et al.).
Showed that COPI vesicles predominantly transport Golgi-resident proteins such as glycosylation enzymes in a retrograde fashion (Nilsson et al.).
Showed that COPI vesicles concentrate resident proteins in an ARF- and ARFGAP-dependent fashion linking GTP hydrolysis to cargo sorting (Nilsson et al.). Extended these finding through quantitative proteomics and bioinformatics (Nilsson, Bergeron et al).
Used mathematical modeling and simulation to explain how GTP hydrolysis can mediate protein sorting (Nilsson et al.).
Showed that the formation of COPI vesicle buds require the synthesis of diacylglycerol for budding (Nilsson et al.).
Applied single molecule cellular imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), to study spatio-temporal dynamics of proteins of the secretory pathway and the cytosol. Showed that Golgi-resident proteins as well as larger molecules of the cytoplasm exhibit anomalous diffusion (sub-diffusion) (Nilsson et al.). This impacts formation of protein-protein networks needed for biological processes including protein sorting, glycosylation and signaling as biological interactions can take place even when affinities between involved components are low (e.g. mM or weaker).
Launched the Advance Light Microscopy Facility at EMBL (Nilsson, Steltzer, Boulin, Gonzalez et al).
Launched the European Light Microscopy Initiative (Nilsson, Pepperkok et al.).
Launched the Centre for Cellular Imaging at Gothenburg University (Nilsson et al.).
Re-launched the Centre for Proteomics at Gothenburg University (Nilsson et al.).
Launched Clinical Proteomics and its two proteomics platforms at McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.