Photo of Prof Claire Eyers

Prof Claire Eyers BSc, PhD

Professor of Biological Mass Spectrometry Biochemistry

    Research

    Development and application of mass spectrometry-based strategies to understand protein modification in health and disease

    The major theme of my research career has been the development and application of biochemical and biophysical (mass spectrometry, ion mobility) techniques to study cellular signal transduction and post-translational modifications (PTMs), particularly protein phosphorylation, on a global level. Identification of PTMs ultimately leads to better understanding, and thus the ability to model, cell signalling systems. This is particularly pertinent as we try to define how changes in protein modification and cell signalling drives cellular ageing and the onset/progression of diseases. My research interests include the application of MS-based techniques to understand proteins and their modifications in a quantitative manner, both at the peptide and protein level, particularly to better understand the roles of combinatorial protein modifications. We also apply structural mass spectrometry (native IM-MS) to correlate changes in site-specific protein modification with protein conformational dynamics, complex formation and ligand (small molecule, DNA) binding.
    I am currently funded by CRUK, NWCR, BBSRC and Unilever, and have been involved in a number of large-scale cross-disciplinary BBSRC (LOLA, SABR) and EU-funded projects, including:
    i) absolute quantification of the complete proteome of S. cerevisiae (i.e. defining protein copy number per cell), and assessment of changes in protein cohorts under conditions of stress;
    ii) in-depth characterisation of stimulation-dependent changes in the modification status of the NFκB transcription factor p65 in a temporal manner. By applying standard peptide-based quantitative phopshoproteomics, native structural mass spectrometry and novel strategies for intact protein (top down) proteomics that are currently being developed in my group, we are investigate the combinatorial roles of multiple modifications on individual NF-kB proteins as a function of disease (cancer) status and in response to stress stimuli;
    iii) screening for cancer-associated changes in the serum glycome by developing novel MS-based methodology for capture and analysis of glycans, glycosylated proteins and glycan binding proteins using self-assembled monolayers;
    iv) expanding the landscape of protein phosphorylation in human cells, having developed analytical strategies that allow sites of phosphorylation on non typical amino acids residues (e.g. His, Asp, Glu, Lys, Arg) to be defined.

    Research Group Membership
    Research Grants

    PhosphoX-db: A web-based bioinformatics platform for studying non-canonical phosphorylation

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    September 2018 - March 2020

    Non-canonical protein phosphorylation in human cancer cells

    NORTH WEST CANCER RESEARCH INCORPORATING CLATTERBRIDGE CANCER RESEARCH (UK)

    June 2018 - January 2021

    Unilever Case Award for Maximilian Harris

    UNILEVER PLC (UK)

    October 2017 - October 2021

    Analysis of Mucin Interactions

    UNILEVER PLC (UK)

    October 2017 - December 2017

    Understanding the complexity of post-translation modifications by enhancing UK capability for top-down proteomics

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC), KEELE UNIVERSITY (UK), UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS (UK)

    June 2017 - June 2018

    NF-κB regulated signalling pathways that control tumourigenesis and the response to cancer therapy

    CANCER RESEARCH UK (UK)

    July 2016 - June 2021

    Therapeutic relevance of crosstalk in the Aurora A and PLK4 signalling modules

    NORTH WEST CANCER RESEARCH INCORPORATING CLATTERBRIDGE CANCER RESEARCH (UK)

    October 2017 - September 2020

    Assay Development Platforms

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    February 2015 - November 2016

    The PPP-labels software for quantitative proteomics

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    September 2014 - September 2015

    Dynamics and function of the NF-kappaB signalling system

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    May 2013 - April 2014

    Systems biology analysis of biological timers and inflammation

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    May 2013 - April 2018

    A critical evaluation of the top 3 method for proteome-wide label-free quantification

    BRITISH MASS SPECTROMETRY SOCIETY (UK)

    December 2013 - May 2014

    Global quantification of the yeast proteome

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    May 2013 - December 2014

    Application of advanced MS instrumentation to protein ligand binding and PTM characterisation

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    January 2015 - January 2016

    Mass spectrometry imaging for biology and biotechnology

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    January 2014 - December 2014

    GlycoBioM

    UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER (UK)

    August 2014 - February 2015

    DNA damage induced phosphorylation and regulation of NF-kappaB

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    April 2014 - September 2017

    ProteoFormer – a software toolkit for top-down proteomics

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL (BBSRC)

    July 2014 - November 2015