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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Seminar series

The Biosciences department runs two seminar series: Departmental seminars that cover a wide range of biological topics, and EEE seminars that cover topics related to Ecology, Evolution and Environment. Please scroll down to find information about these seminars and also recordings of some of the previous talks.


Departmental Seminars

Departmental Seminars are held during term time, on Thursdays from 13.00 - 14.00, currently via Zoom. All undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff are encouraged to attend the talks and are welcome to join afterwards for less formal discussions after the seminar. If you would like more time to talk with the speaker, please contact the host listed for that seminar. Recognising that our audience is likely to be broad, speakers have been asked to make their talks accessible, focusing a substantial part of their material on general issues and background to their work. If you have suggestions for additional speakers or would like to know more about the program, please email:

To attend a seminar, please register by clicking here. You will only need to register once, and it will allow you to attend all seminars in the series. You will receive an email with a Zoom link that you will need to click in order to join a seminar.

The next level of phosphorylation-based signaling

12th November 2020, 13:00, Via Zoom, Dr Claire Eyers, University of Liverpool, UK

Host: Dr Adam Benham

About the speaker: Claire Eyers is Professor of Biological Mass Spectrometry, at the Institute for Integrative Biology, Liverpool University.

She is the Director of the Centre for Proteome Research and Deputy Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Impact) for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

Claire is the chair of BBSRC Committee Panel D and a member of various editorial boards and advisory committees, including the human proteome organisation, HUPO.

Her research is focused on the development and application of mass spectrometry-based strategies to understand protein post-translational modifications in health and disease.

Selected Publications:

DNA Binding and Phosphorylation Regulate the Core Structure of the NF-B p50 Transcription Factor

Covalent inhibitors of EGFR family protein kinases induce degradation of human Tribbles 2 (TRIB2) pseudokinase in cancer cells

New tools for evaluating protein tyrosine sulfation: tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases (TPSTs) are novel targets for RAF protein kinase inhibitors

Understanding protein-drug interactions using ion mobility-mass spectrometry

Strong anion exchange-mediated phosphoproteomics reveals extensive human non-canonical phosphorylation

For further details, see

The next level of phosphorylation-based signaling

Protein phosphorylation is a ubiquitous post-translational modification (PTM) that regulates all aspects of life. To date, investigation of human phosphorylation-mediated cell signalling has focused on canonical phosphorylation of serine (Ser), threonine (Thr) and tyrosine (Tyr) residues. However, mounting evidence indicates that phosphorylation of histidine also plays a central role in regulating human cell biology. Biochemical and phosphoproteomics workflows rely on acidic conditions or elevated temperatures for analysis, which are incompatible with the analysis of acid-labile phosphorylation such as histidine. Consequently, the extent of ‘non-canonical’ phosphorylation in humans and other vertebrates is unknown. We have developed an Unbiased Phosphopeptide enrichment strategy based on Strong Anion Exchange (SAX) chromatography (UPAX), which permits enrichment of acid-labile phosphopeptides for characterisation by mass spectrometry. This approach has allowed us to identify extensive and positional phosphorylation patterns on histidine, arginine, lysine, aspartate, glutamate and cysteine in human cell extracts. Our study reveals the previously unappreciated diversity of protein phosphorylation in human cells, and opens up avenues for exploring roles of acid-labile phosphorylation in any proteome using mass spectrometry.

Contact for more information about this event.

Ecology, Evolution and Environment (EEE) seminar series

These seminars will take place online via Zoom, and the joining links have been emailed to all Biosciences students and staff. Links to recorded seminars will be also posted here after each seminar. If you have any questions, please contact the EEE seminar organiser Dr Jonathan Drury (

13 October, 12 PM: Dr Richard Fuller (The University of Queensland, Australia), “Experiencing nature in a post-biodiversity world”

27 October, 4PM: Dr Jenn Baltzer (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada), “Fire and the decline of fire-adapted black spruce in the boreal forest”

10 November, 4PM: Dr Yann Bourgeois (University of Portsmouth, UK), “A population genomics perspective on transposable elements dynamics”

24 November, 4PM: Dr Yusan Yang (Washington University, USA), “Color polymorphism, divergent mating behavior, and the evolution of reproductive isolation”

8 December, 12PM: Dr Annette Fayet (University of Oxford, UK), “Drivers of seabird migration movements and their fitness consequences”

Seminar recordings

8th October 2020, Dr Rich Roberts, "Bacterial Methylomes":

13th October 2020: Dr Richard Fuller, “Experiencing nature in a post-biodiversity world” :

15th October 2020, Dr Vivek Nityananda, "Stereo vision and prey detection in the praying mantis":

22nd October 2020, Dr Rashmi Sasidharan, "Life aquatic: signalling networks mediating flooding stress survival":