MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

Maria Christophorou Research Group

Protein Regulation in Health and Disease

Dr Maria Christophorou - IGMM Chancellor’s Fellow and Sir Henry Dale Fellow

Section: Genome Regulation

Research in a Nutshell 

The number of protein-coding genes in the genome does not nearly account for the number of processes necessary for an organism’s vital functions. Small chemical changes, called post-translational modifications (PTMs), are made on proteins by enzymes and determine when, where and how proteins work. As such, PTMs fine-tune protein function and add an enormous degree of sophistication to biological systems.  By the same token, abnormal deposition of PTMs by malfunctioning modifying enzymes can deregulate proteins and upset normal cellular function in the same way that a mutation in a critical gene would. Importantly, the modifying enzymes lend themselves to modulation by externally added compounds (such as specific chemical inhibitors) and therefore understanding the way they work presents exciting possibilities for therapeutic intervention.


Research Programme


M.Christophorou group



Dr Maria Christophorou  Group Leader
Thomas Cummings PhD student
David Hay PhD student
Abigail Wilson Research Associate
Christine Young Postdoctoral Fellow



  • Professor Kamil Kranc, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Michael Lund Nielsen, University of Copenhagen
  • Dr José Luis Garcia-Perez, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Adriano Rossi, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, Karolinska Institutet

Partners and Funders

  • Wellcome Trust
  • Royal Society
  • Medical Research Council

Scientific Themes

Post-translational modification, citrullination, signalling, gene regulation, epigenetics, development, disease

Technology Expertise

Protein biochemistry, Citrullination, Molecular biology, Disease models