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Living things are made up of one or more cells, and cells need membranes to provide barriers inside the cell and protect them from the outside world. Whilst the biological membranes that form these barriers are incredibly complex and diverse in nature, they are generally characterised by a lipid bilayer studded with many proteins. In order to make new membranes, the cell has to put new proteins into the lipid bilayer, and in higher organisms this is one of the key functions of a specialised cellular compartment known as the endoplasmic reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum contains a number of molecular machines that stitch new proteins into the lipid bilayer to make functional membranes. One of our major objectives is to understand how this process works with complete molecular detail. It is also clear that this process can go wrong, and when it does so this is often linked to diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Understanding how defects in newly made membrane proteins are recognised, and defining the consequences that this can have for the cell, is the second of our major research goals.



1978-1981: B.A. (Hons) Biochemistry, University of York.

1982-1987: PhD. Biochemistry, University of Bristol.

1987-1988: Research Assistant, University of Bristol.

1989-1990: EMBO Fellow, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.

1991-1992: Postdoctoral Fellow, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.

1992-1997: BBSRC Advanced Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

1997-1999: Reader in Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

1999: Professor of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

2001: Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, ZMBH, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

2001 - 2006: BBSRC Professorial Fellowship, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

2006 - 2009: Head of Section, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester.

2012: Visiting Professor, University of Göttingen, Germany.

2022: Retired from the University of Manchester as an Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry.

Research interests

Membrane protein biosynthesis at the endoplasmic reticulum

  1. The molecular mechanisms of protein integration and maturation.
  2. The quality control of misfolded membrane proteins.

The research in my laboratory was aimed at understanding how proteins are inserted into lipid bilayers to form biologically functional membranes. Whilst I closed my research laboratory in April 2022, the bulk of our work is published in peer reviewed journals and readily available to look at.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • Membrane protein synthesis
  • Protein targeting
  • Protein degradation


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