Photo of Professor Pat Eyers

Professor Pat Eyers BSc/PhD

Head of Department and Professor of Cell Signalling Biochemistry & Systems Biology

    Research

    Research Overview

    I am the recipient of >£4 million in personal and >£12 million in collaborative funding at the University of Liverpool in the last decade. I have trained 12 PDRAs (2 currently active) and 15 PhD students (3 currently active) and with our international collaborators, we are developing new methods for quantitative analysis of cell signaling, notably the enzymes that control covalent modifications of proteins. My work spans co-discovery of the protein kinase gatekeeper residue (a major determinant of drug-resistance) and the first use of drug-resistant kinase alleles for inhibitor target validation, through to our recent analysis of redox phosphoproteomes in model systems. In 2018, we began a programme of work to analyse the redox biology of cell signalling , and recently disclosed conserved mechanisms of Ser/Thr protein kinase regulation that are likely to be relevant to multiple antioxidant stress responses in eukaryotic cells.

    Cell Signalling, Protein phosphorylation, sulfation and chemical biology

    Tribbles pseudokinases come of age
    Tribbles pseudokinases come of age

    • Chemical Biology, protein kinase regulation, kinase and sulfotransferase inhibitors: resistance and escape mechanisms in human cancer cells and identification of new and ‘re-purpoused’ small molecule inhibitors to target unstudied and ‘drug-resistant' kinases
    • Liverpool Enzyme Screening and Assay Facility; Academic Lead and Director: screening of protein kinases and small molecule modulators using microfluidic-based technology. In collaboration with academia and pharmaceutical companies
    • Molecular analysis of human protein pseudokinases and members of the 'dark' kinome, which contains many new drug targets. Employing chemical genetics to uncover the effects of small molecules on (pseudo)kinase function in vitro and in vivo
    • Protein Kinase Biophysics: NMR, Ion Mobility and cryo-EM analysis of differentially activated and drug-resistant Mps1, Aurora A and pseudokinase proteins in complex with regulators and ligands. Design of new reporter assays to measure ligand occupancy
    • Transcriptional Kinome-wide analysis of cellular signalling networks in human cancer cells. In particular, kinome 'rewiring' in response to clinical compounds

    Protein and glycan sulfation

    Back-to-back papers analysing sulfation mechanisms
    Back-to-back papers analysing sulfation mechanisms

    We are investigating how sulfation-dependent signalling occurs in vertebrate cells, and how this controls a number of key intracellular and extracellular signalling events.

    Research Grants

    A new mechanism of redox regulation in Ser/Thr protein kinases

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL

    March 2023 - February 2026

    Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) as a therapeutic target for the treatment of auto-immune inflammatory disease

    VERSUS ARTHRITIS (UK)

    September 2022 - August 2023

    A data analytics framework for mining the dark kinome

    NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (USA)

    May 2019 - April 2022

    Non-canonical protein phosphorylation in human cancer cells

    NORTH WEST CANCER RESEARCH INCORPORATING CLATTERBRIDGE CANCER RESEARCH (UK)

    June 2018 - January 2022

    Studentship for Emma Fairweather

    ASTRAZENECA LIMITED (UK)

    October 2017 - September 2021

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

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

    June 2017 - June 2018

    3-O-sulfated heparan sulfate translocation in altered membrane biology: A new strategy for early population screening and halting Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration (ArrestAD)

    EUROPEAN COMMISSION

    January 2017 - May 2022

    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

    Increasing Industry Engagement and Open Innovation in Health and Life Sciences - Proximity to Discovery Award

    MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

    March 2016 - August 2017

    New tools and resources to evaluate biological sulphation

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL

    October 2016 - March 2018

    A streamlined approach for the analysis of drug-resistant protein kinase alleles

    NORTH WEST CANCER RESEARCH INCORPORATING CLATTERBRIDGE CANCER RESEARCH (UK)

    January 2016 - December 2017

    Investigating in vivo resistance mechanisms to MEK inhibitors in uveal melanoma to enable novel combinatorial therapies.

    NORTH WEST CANCER RESEARCH INCORPORATING CLATTERBRIDGE CANCER RESEARCH (UK)

    March 2016 - May 2019

    Role of serine protease activity in the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy

    MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION USA)

    September 2015 - January 2019

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

    BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL

    January 2015 - January 2016

    Kinome-wide analysis of KRASand MYC driven cancer cell models exposed to clinical kinase and bromodomain inhibitors

    NORTH WEST CANCER RESEARCH INCORPORATING CLATTERBRIDGE CANCER RESEARCH (UK)

    September 2014 - August 2017