News

Laureation address by Dario Alessi, 22nd June 2018

 

Vice-Chancellor, I have the honour to present for the degree of doctor of laws honoris causa, Dr Michel Goedert. Michel has undertaken pioneering studies that have made major contributions to unravelling our understanding of several brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

 

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Lambert Montava Garriga, a PhD student in the Ganley Lab at the MRC PPU, was awarded the first-place poster prize at the Biochemical Society’s 83rd Harden Conference: Autophagy – from Molecules to Disease. …more

Ever wondered what the inside of a lab looks like? We’ll be hosting an open day on Saturday 16 June so please join us to explore the world of medical research.

At the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit our name may sound complicated but our aim is simple – to understand how cell regulation influences health and disease and to use what we learn to develop new medicines or technologies. Essentially we look at life from the inside out. 

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Sven Lange, a PhD student in the MRC PPU has won The FEBS Journal Poster Prize at "Pseudoenzymes 2018: from molecular mechanism to cell biology" which was held on the island of Sardinia from May 16-19 2018. Sven was also invited to present a short lecture at the meeting on his research on the IRAK3 pseudokinase. …more

The CK1 family of serine/threonine protein kinases were one of the first kinases to be discovered some 50 years ago, principally because of their incessant ability to phosphorylate the milk protein casein in the test tube. Although it has turned out that this is not their actual role in biology, they have been found to impact many cellular processes, including the cell’s ability to grow, differentiate and respond to different signals. CK1 members can control all of these processes by their ability to phosphorylate many effector proteins in different subcellular compartments within the cell. …more

David Campbell, head of the MRC PPU’s Mass Spectrometry Facility, is retiring 34 years after joining Philip Cohen’s lab as a postdoc in 1984. …more

Missense mutations that induce hyper-activation of the LRRK2 protein kinase cause autosomal dominant Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 phosphorylates a subgroup of Rab GTPases within their Switch-II effector binding motifs that impacts on their ability to associate with critical effectors. Little is known about the upstream pathways that control LRRK2 activity, other than Rab29 may activate LRRK2 by promoting its recruitment to the Golgi.

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Philip Cohen Portrait

Following his recent Senior Investigator Award of £2.3million from the Wellcome Trust, Philip Cohen has now been awarded a new Programme Grant of £1.6 million from the Medical Research Council.

Both research awards are aimed at understanding how to control of the power of the body’s immune system to prevent autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, asthma, fibrosis and lupus as well as to enhance the power of the immune system to destroy cancers.

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New research by Greg Findlay’s group in the MRC PPU has made progress in understanding the fundamentals of intellectual disability, a developmental disorder thought to affect 1-2% of the world’s population. The paper by Francisco Bustos, a postdoctoral investigator, and Anna Segarra-Fas, a PhD student in Greg’s lab, shows that genetic mutations found in intellectual disability patients impair the catalytic activity of an E3 ubiquitin ligase called RNF12. This prevents RNF12 from effectively destroying its target proteins, which may cause intellectual disability by disrupting development of neurons from stem cells.

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has awarded MRC PPU Director Dario Alessi the 2018 MJFF Langston Award for “service and dedication to our shared goals of advancing Parkinson's understanding and therapeutic development”. For further information see here

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