I am a cell biologist with a passion for microscopy and all things ubiquitin. I currently hold a professorial chair at the University of Liverpool, in a city that is close to my heart. I was trained at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, studying Rab GTPases and secretory granule biogenesis in neuroendocrine cells, respectively. My post-graduate work in the UK continued on the theme of intracellular trafficking but now on the endocytic route focussing on the machinery that ensures the ubiquitin-dependent downregulation of mitogenic growth factor receptors. This formed the framework for a Wellcome Career Development Award and a subsequent Cancer Research UK Senior Fellowship to study the regulation of growth factor receptor trafficking and signalling by endosomal deubiquitylases (DUBs). Our lab established an important new paradigm whereby the balance between E3 ligase and DUB activity on endosomes determines the fate of such receptors.
We have made it our mission to use systematic approaches to shed light on the cell biology of DUBs and their potential therapeutic value in oncology and neurodegenerative disease settings. I have enjoyed collaborating with industrial partners on the development of DUB inhibitors and am thrilled to be at the heart of this new chapter unlocking the translational potential of this fascinating family of enzymes.