Barbara Pearse

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Barbara Pearse
Barbara Mary Frances Pearse

(1948-03-24) 24 March 1948 (age 74)[1]
SpouseMark Bretscher[1]

Barbara Mary Frances Pearse FRS (born 24 March 1948, Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire, England) is a British biological scientist. She works at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, United Kingdom.[2][3]


Barbara Pearse attended the independent Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton in Greater London, and gained her undergraduate degree from University College London in 1969.


She was appointed to the scientific staff of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1982.


Pearse's main contributions lie in the structure of coated vesicles.[4][5][6] Pearse first purified coated vesicles; she also discovered the clathrin coat molecule in 1975.[7] Coated pits and vesicles were first seen in thin sections of tissue in the electron microscope by Thomas Roth and Keith Porter in 1964. The importance of them for the clearance of LDL from blood was discovered by R. G. Anderson, Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein in 1976.

Awards and honours[edit]

She was visiting professor in cell biology at Stanford University (1984-5). She was elected a member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 1982 and awarded the EMBO Gold Medal in 1987. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Mark Bretscher, another scientist.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "PEARSE, Barbara Mary Frances, (Mrs M. S. Bretscher)". Who's Who. Vol. 2014 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Pearse, B. M. (1987). "Clathrin and coated vesicles". The EMBO Journal. 6 (9): 2507–12. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1987.tb02536.x. PMC 553666. PMID 2890519.
  3. ^ Pearse, B. M. (1988). "Receptors compete for adaptors found in plasma membrane coated pits". The EMBO Journal. 7 (11): 3331–6. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1988.tb03204.x. PMC 454828. PMID 2905261.
  4. ^ Pearse, B. M. F.; Robinson, M. S. (1990). "Clathrin, Adaptors, and Sorting". Annual Review of Cell Biology. 6: 151–171. doi:10.1146/annurev.cb.06.110190.001055. PMID 2177341.
  5. ^ Ford, M. G.; Pearse, B. M.; Higgins, M. K.; Vallis, Y; Owen, D. J.; Gibson, A; Hopkins, C. R.; Evans, P. R.; McMahon, H. T. (2001). "Simultaneous binding of Ptd Ins(4,5)P2 and clathrin by AP180 in the nucleation of clathrin lattices on membranes". Science. 291 (5506): 1051–5. Bibcode:2001Sci...291.1051F. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.291.5506.1051. PMID 11161218.
  6. ^ Pearse, B. M. F. (1975). "Coated vesicles from pig brain: Purification and biochemical characterization". Journal of Molecular Biology. 97 (1): 93–98. doi:10.1016/S0022-2836(75)80024-6. PMID 1177317.
  7. ^ Pearse, B. M. F.; Bretscher, M. S. (1981). "Membrane Recycling by Coated Vesicles". Annual Review of Biochemistry. 50: 85–101. doi:10.1146/ PMID 7023370.