Ivan Ahel secures renewal of his prestigious Wellcome Trust Fellowship

Ivan Ahel secures renewal of his prestigious Wellcome Trust Fellowship

Dunn School group leader Ivan Ahel has successfully renewed his Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science. The fellowship will provide around £2 million over 5 years, starting from 1 Oct 2018, to sponsor his research into serine ADP-ribosylation in genome stability and human disease.

ADP-ribosylation is a reversible post-translational modification of proteins, which regulates many cellular processes, including DNA damage repair, DNA replication, transcription, cell division and various stress responses. Even though the critical role of ADP-ribosylation in cellular responses to DNA damage has been recognised for several decades, which residues/sites in proteins are ADP-ribosylated and how this signalling is regulated are not well understood. Recently, the Ahel group has uncovered that a newly identified form of ADP-ribosylation (ADP-ribosylation on serine residues) is the major DNA damage-responsive modification of histones and many other proteins involved in genome stability (Palazzo et al., 2018). The group also elucidated how serine ADP-ribosylation is synthesised (by the PARP/HPF1 complex: Gibbs-Seymour et al., 2016; Bonfiglioet al., 2017) and how it is reversed in cells (by the hydrolase ARH3: Fontana et al., 2017).

"It was a great relief to hear we have been awarded this grant,’ said Ivan Ahel. ‘It’s also really exciting as now we can go deep into understanding how ADP-ribosylation is controlled mechanistically and exploring the physiological pathways it regulates.

To learn more about research done by the Ivan Ahel’s group, please visit the following websites:

Departmental webpage: https://www.path.ox.ac.uk/content/ivan-ahel

Ivan Ahel’s group website: http://ivanahellab.wixsite.com/ivan-ahel-lab

For more information about Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship, check out this link: https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/senior-research-fellowships-basic-biomedical-science

Written by Sheng Kai Pong

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 17