Jake Wheeler

Developing chemical probes of histidine phosphorylation in eukaryotes

About me

I studied for my Integrated Masters in Chemistry at the University of Leeds. During this time, I undertook a placement, in Utrecht (Netherlands), working as a formulation chemist for Diversey. Upon returning to Leeds, I was keen to continue work in a research environment, I started working in the Chemical Biology field investigating potential substrates of novel trans-acting thioesterases in NRPS systems. Time spent in industry and working in the field of Chemical Biology have inspired my future ambitions to pursue research in chemical synthesis with biological applications.

My project

Protein phosphorylation is one of the most prevalent post-translational modifications in the eukaryotic proteome. Despite the widespread occurrence of phosphorylation in eukaryotes, there is still a significant proportion of the phosphoproteome that we have yet to understand. Due to their greater stability, studies have largely focussed on phosphoserine (pSer), phosphothreonine (pThr) and phosphotyrosine (pTyr) residues within phosphoproteins. My objective is to create the next generation of chemical probes to investigate the role of the far-less-stable phosphohistidine (pHis). Having already been implicated in many processes such as the regulation of ion channels, G-protein signalling and chromatin biology, I am certain there is more to discover and understand about this challenging, yet interesting, post-translational modification.


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