The lab was established in 2016 at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, which is based at the Cambridge biomedical campus.


Phosphorylation is a critically important post translational modification that can function as a switch to protein activity. It is controlled by the balanced actions of kinases and phosphatases. Several diseases are associated with disruption of this balance, including cancer. Despite their biological importance, phosphatases are poorly characterised in comparison to kinases. This is in part because of inherent difficulties in studying them and the notion that they are undruggable. We aim to take advantage of recent technological advances in areas such as genome engineering and proteomics to shed light on the roles and substrates of phosphatases.

Current research

We are focused on discovering the physiological roles of receptor tyrosine phosphatases, which can couple extracellular environmental sensing with intracellular catalytic activity. The hope is that uncovering their biology will not only contribute to our basic understanding of cell biology but also highlight future drug targets. In fact, several inhibitors of tyrosine phosphatases recently entered clinical trials.

Thanks to funding from: