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Personal profile

Overview

Research Associate in the Genome Stability Lab

Email: benjamin.foster@manchester.ac.uk

My overall research interests focus on how ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like signalling regulate chromatin-related processes. Currently, I am investigating the function of these post-translational modifications in the context of intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) relevant to DNA repair pathways and genome stability.

My training is in molecular biology and protein biochemistry, with expertise in using purified, recombinantly produced physiologically-relevant protein reagents to recapitulate the complex signalling that takes place within cells and tissues. Using these systems, I can test pathological and disease-related mutations to see the mechanisms by which they act in these processes to better understand the underlying biology.

Biography

Ben completed his Masters (MSci) in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, with his thesis project focussing on the function of a ubiquitin-related modifier, Urm1, in Archaea. He moved to the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) in 2013 for his doctoral research with Till Bartke, investigating the role of combinatorial chromatin modifications and how they are written and read. He continued this research at the Institute of Functional Epigenetics (IFE) at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, focussing on how UHRF1 ubiquitylates histone H3 in its role for maintaining DNA methylation after replication. At the end of 2018, Ben moved to the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford to investigate the function and activity of deubiquitylases (DUBs) in DNA repair using a range of biochemical and structural biology approaches. Ben joined the lab in Summer 2023 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to study the role of intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) in ubiquitin/ubiquitin-like signalling relevant to genome stability.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, PhD Biochemistry, Imperial College London

Oct 2013Jun 2017

Award Date: 1 Nov 2017

Master of Natural Science at Cambridge University, MSci Natural Sciences (Biochemistry), University of Cambridge

Sept 2012Jun 2013

Bachelor of Arts, BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Oct 2009Jun 2012

External positions

Early Career Advisory Panel, Biochemical Society

Jun 2021 → …

Early Career Representative, Research Area V (Signalling) Theme Panel, Biochemical Society

May 2020 → …

Areas of expertise

  • QH301 Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genome Stability
  • Ubiquitin
  • Post-translational modifications
  • Protein Biochemistry

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cancer
  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre

Keywords

  • Chromatin
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ubiquitin-like modifiers
  • Genome Stability
  • Protein biochemistry

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