• Room 03.039 - Whitla Medical Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the field of the biology, characterisation and therapeutic targeting of mammalian and microbial proteases. - USP17 as a therapeutic target in cancer - Targeting bacterial proteases as an antimicrobial strategy

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Personal profile

Research Statement

I have been a lecturer within the School of Pharmacy since June 2010 and my research focuses upon proteases with particular emphasis on their role in immune signalling and disease.

Currently my work focuses upon the DUB/USP17 family of deubiquitinating enzymes where we have shown that USP17 (DUB-3) is induced in response to cytokines, chemokines and growth factors (IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, SCF1, EGF) and that it regulates cell growth and movement. Subsequently, we have demonstrated that USP17 modulates signalling through the Ras/MEK/ERK pathway due to its regulation of Ras processing and localisation. Moreover, we have identified a novel isoform of the protease Ras converting enzyme 1 (RCE1), which is involved in Ras processing, and shown that it is ubiquitinated and that its deubiquitination by USP17 can regulate its localisation and function. We have also shown that USP17 is over-expressed in a range of tumour tissues and we are currently assessing USP17 as a potential cancer therapeutic target.

In addition, we are examining the role of bacterial proteases potentially involved in the subversion of the host immune response to assess their suitability as therapeutic targets.


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where James Burrows is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2012 2016

Research Output 2000 2019

22 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Cell membranes
21 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Cystic Fibrosis
61 Downloads (Pure)

Discovery and Rational Design of a Novel Bowman-Birk Related Protease Inhibitor

Miao, Y., Chen, G., Xi, X., Ma, C., Wang, L., Burrows, J. F., Duan, J., Zhou, M. & Chen, T., 14 Jul 2019, In : Biomolecules. 9, 7, 13 p., 280.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Protease Inhibitors
125 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Solid-Phase Synthesis Techniques
3 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)

A novel antimicrobial peptide, Ranatuerin-2PLx (R2PLx), showing therapeutic potential in inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells

Chen, X., Zhang, L., Ma, C., Zhang, Y., Xi, X., Wang, L., Zhou, M., Burrows, J. F. & Chen, T., Dec 2018, In : Bioscience Reports. 38, 6, 11 p., BSR20180710.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Cell Proliferation

Activities 2010 2017

Deubiquitinases - from structure to physiology

James Burrows (Participant)
26 Jun 201728 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Frontiers in immunology (Journal)

James Burrows (Peer reviewer)
01 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

KTP/ Causeway Sensors Ltd - S2410CNR

Christopher Scott (Member), James Burrows (Member)
01 Apr 201731 Mar 2020

Activity: Consultancy typesKTP & Consultancy in kind

China Medical University – Queen’s University Belfast Joint College

James Burrows (Contributor)
02 Apr 201616 Apr 2016

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation

Sentinus Young Innovators Competition

James Burrows (Contributor)
13 Jun 2016

Activity: Other activity typesHosting a school group or open day