Image of Gopal Sapkota
Doctor Gopal Sapkota
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Background Information

Gopal Sapkota is originally from Nepal. He obtained a Masters in biochemistry from the University of Bath in 1999. Gopal received his Ph.D. from the University of Dundee in 2003. He then joined Joan Massagué’s laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to undertake postdoctoral research to study the TGFβ pathway regulation, for which he received the prestigious Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship.
In November 2008, he joined the MRC Unit as a Programme Leader. His lab focuses on elucidating the molecular function and regulation of the TGFβ/BMP and Wnt pathways in cells and human diseases.

Key discoveries made in the Sapkota lab include:

• PAWS1/FAM83G as an interactor of SMAD1 and a transcriptional regulator in the BMP pathway and beyond (Vogt et al, 2014).
• Phospho-dependent recruitment of deubiquitylase OTUB1 to the active SMAD2/3 complexes for their protection from ubiquitylation and degradation to enhance TGFβ signalling (Herhaus et al, 2013).
• CK2-mediated OTUB1 phosphorylation at Ser16 as the mechanism for its nuclear localization and role in dsDNA-damage repair (Herhaus et al, 2015).
• Identification and characterisation of USP11 as a deubiquitylating enzyme for TGFBR1/ALK5 (Al-Salihi et al, 2012).
• Elucidation of USP15 as a deubiquitylating enzyme for BMPR1A/ALK3 (Herhaus et al, 2014).
• Demonstration that MAP3K4 and MAP3K10, but not TAK1, mediate the TGFβ-induced activation of p38MAPK in MEFs and HaCaT cells (Sapkota, 2013).
• Generation of endogenously driven transcriptional reporters for TGFβ and BMP pathways through CRISPR/Cas9 for advanced transcriptional and drug discovery studies (Rojas-Fernandez et al, 2015).
• Affinity-directed PROtein Missile (AdPROM) system for targeted proteolysis (Fulcher et al, 2016).