• Cancers
  • Pathology

Location: St Lucia

Type of student:  PhD and MPhil

Type of work: Wet lab work ​

My research team is focused on understanding the molecular switches (signalling pathways) that allow cells to respond to changes in their environment. We are particularly interested in the communication pathways that decide whether a cell grows and divides or arrests and dies.  Corrupting the pathways that make these life and death decision has major health consequences, and is the driving force behind many diseases including cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases, etc. By understanding how these decisions are made in molecular terms, in the long term, my team hopes to gain insights that can improve the treatment options for people affected by these diseases.

The overarching aim of my research is to is to systematically elucidate the biochemical mechanisms by which protein degradation enzymes (known as ubiquitin ligases) regulate cellular homeostasis. To date, the biological function of most ubiquitin ligases remains elusive as most have not been paired with substrates. Using interdisciplinary approaches incorporating proteomics, biochemistry, and molecular cell biology, my team seeks to delineate the components of signalling pathways implicated in the degradation of proteins implicated in cell division and cell death.  We focus particularly on understanding regulation of centrosomes, microtubules and, mitochondria, by the ubiquitin proteasome system. 


Dr Julia Pagan

Faculty of Medicine