• 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


Research activity per year

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.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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