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    United Kingdom

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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


Research output per year

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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.


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Research Output

Open Access
  • 42 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 4 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 13 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 63 Downloads (Pure)


    Deubiquitinases - from structure to physiology

    James Burrows (Participant)

    26 Jun 201728 Jun 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    KTP/ Causeway Sensors Ltd - S2410CNR

    Christopher Scott (Member), & James Burrows (Member)

    01 Apr 201731 Mar 2020

    Activity: Consultancy typesKTP & Consultancy in kind

    Frontiers in immunology (Journal)

    James Burrows (Peer reviewer)

    01 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    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


    Bioactivity evaluation and structural modification of Bowman-Birk type protease inhibitory peptides from amphibian skin secretions

    Author: Miao, Y., Dec 2019

    Supervisor: Chen, T. (Supervisor), Zhou, M. (Supervisor), Burrows, J. (Supervisor) & Burden, R. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy