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Dr Burrows’s research team identify and characterise proteases which potentially represent targets for drug discovery.

A current focus is USP17, a deubiquitinase overexpressed in multiple cancers and required for tumour growth and metastases. Dr Burrows has been at the forefront of studies characterising its biological role and assessing its credentials as a therapeutic target.  

Dr Burrows also has an interest in bacterial proteases which subvert the host immune response, with the aim of identifying potential antimicrobial targets.

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Open to PhD applications in the field of the biology, characterisation and therapeutic targeting of mammalian and microbial proteases.

  • USP17 as a therapeutic target in cancer
  • Targeting bacterial proteases as an antimicrobial strategy
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School of Pharmacy

James Burrows

Dr James Burrows (PI) – Dr Burrows has been a Lecturer in Pharmacology within the School of Pharmacy since June 2010 and his research focuses upon proteases with a particular emphasis on their role in disease, and as potential therapeutic targets.

Research students

PhD Title: Design, synthesis and anti-tumour potency evaluation of pyrimidines as cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors

Name: Mr Jia Lin
Years of Study: 2016-2019
Country: China

PhD Title: The role of USP17 in EGFR signaling and as a potential novel target for therapy in colorectal cancer

Name: Mr Aidan McCann
Years of Study: 2015-2018
Country: Northern Ireland


Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Michelle Greene

PhD Title: Therapeutic evaluation of an immunomodulatory nanoparticle in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome 

Years of Study: 2011-2015
Country: United Kingdom
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast

Dr Jakub Jaworski

PhD Title: The role of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP17 in endocytosis and the regulation of Ras converting enzyme 1 activity.

Years of Study: 2010-2013
Country: Poland
Current position: Principal Scientist, Immunocore Ltd, Oxford, UK 

Dr Michelle de la Vega

PhD Title: The effect of USP17 on GTPase trafficking and cell migration

Years of Study: 2007-2009
Country: USA
Current position: Leader Instructor and Research Scientist, Health Sciences Academy, London, UK

Research at Queen's

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