News

Greg Findlay and Francisco Bustos, a postdoctoral researcher in Greg’s group, were recently awarded a £20,000 Tenovus Scotland Research Grant to engineer an RNF12 E3 ligase substrate degrader as a therapeutic strategy in Tonne-Kalscheuer Syndrome (TOKAS) intellectual disability.

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Funding success for Esther Sammler to explore the connection between the gut and Parkinson’s disease (PD) in man and mice. A connection between the gut and PD has long been recognized: constipation is a common non-motor symptom that often predates the emergence of motor problems and PD diagnosis by decades. The vagal nerve represents a direct connection between the brain stem and the intestinal tract and lends support to the Braak theory that PD might originate in the gut rather than the brain. …more

Professor Ian Shanks FRS and his daughter Dr Emma Shanks visited the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU) on January 23rd to hear about the research being undertaken. Ian Shanks is a pioneer of liquid crystal display (LCD) and adapted this to develop the first digital blood glucose sensor in the 1980s, which has transformed the management of diabetes and benefited millions of patients worldwide.

 

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Moira Cardosi, Barbara Lynch and Liz Haughey visited the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit to meet with Director Professor Dario Alessi and other members of the team to hear about our exciting research into Parkinson’s disease. They also presented us with a cheque in excess of £3,000 – funds that Moira Cardosi had raised during the 2019 Kiltwalk in memory of Mrs Lynch’s late husband who had suffered from the condition. During a tour of the MRC PPU laboratory our visitors also gained a first-hand impression of our work and why we believe that better understanding the causes of Parkinson’s disease will eventually lead to finding a cure.

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Emeritus Professor Pierre Descouts (Universite de Geneve) and his wife Christine visited the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit to meet with Dario Alessi, Miratul Muqit, Ian Ganley and Esther Sammler to hear about their exciting research into the causes of Parkinson’s and to go on a tour of the laboratory. The couple knows first-hand what it means to live with the condition and had decided to make a donation of £10,000 towards the research programme of Esther Sammler who also works as an honorary consultant neurologist for NHS Tayside. …more

MRC PPU researcher receives Brian Cox Prize for Public Engagement

 

Miratul Muqit who is a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist and Programme Leader in the MRC-PPU has been awarded the 2019 Brian Cox Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement in the “engaged researcher” category. The award was given in recognition of his public engagement project entitled “Misprints” in collaboration with artist Daksha Patel

 

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Luke Fulcher, who has just completed his PhD work in Gopal Sapkota’s lab, has been awarded the prestigious University of Dundee School of Life Sciences Howard Elder Prize for 2019. 

 

Luke received the award for his study entitled “FAM83D directs protein kinase CK1α to the mitotic spindle for proper spindle positioning,” which has been published in EMBO Reports

 

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In MRC PPU we are extremely proud that in 2019, a total of 13 PhD students and 1 MSc student defended their theses, and everyone passed with flying colours! As part of the defence, each student gave a 45-minute talk describing their PhD research, to packed lecture rooms. The standard of talks from our students was extremely high, and the talks described major advances in several areas of biology, some of which have spawned new areas of investigation.

 

 

 

This years’ graduating students are:

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Katharine Lodge has joined the MRC PPU as the first recipient of an MRC PPU Visiting Clinical Scholarship. She will spend three months in the Unit undertaking state-of-the-art proteomics to uncover novel phosphorylation signalling pathways regulated by hypoxia in human neutrophils.

 

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Researchers at the University of Dundee have investigated the contributions of a key immune communicator molecule, IL-22, in driving colorectal cancer. They made the surprising finding that IL-22 contributes to the initiation of cancer, but once cells are transformed, IL-22 does not affect them. These findings have important implications for immunotherapy of bowel cancer, and suggest that IL-22 is not as good a target as previously suggested.

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