University of Dundee

‘Pseudo Echo: viral mimics of the pseudokinase MLKL subvert cell death by necroptosis’

Event Date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019 - 13:00 to 14:00
Event Location: 
MSI Small Lecture Theatre
Professor Dario Alessi FRS FRSE FMedSci
Event Speaker: 
Dr James Murphy
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
Event Type: 

ames Murphy is one of the best known researchers working on Signal Transduction and Protein Kinases in Australia (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute [WEHI] of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia).


Much of his work is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which catalytically inactive pseudokinases especially MLKL, regulate cell signalling. Long considered the poor cousins of conventional protein kinases owing to their lack of catalytic activity, pseudokinases have emerged over the past decade as crucial components of signalling pathways across the kingdoms of life. To date there have been few detailed studies of members of the mammalian ‘pseudokinome’, but already it is evident that this protein family exhibits functional diversity consistent with their diverse evolutionary origins.


The Murphy lab has focused on the pseudokinase, MLKL, the most terminal known effector in the necroptosis cell death pathway. James has delineated functional and structural knowledge relating to the MLKL activation, regulation and downstream activity has set the scene for therapeutic targeting of MLKL. This work also provides a template for developing a detailed understanding of how the remaining ~50 uncharacterised pseudokinases modulate cell signalling.


This seminar will be of great interest to any researcher interested in cell signalling and how cell survival/death pathways are regulated.


For more information on James Murphy's publications click here



James Murphy is Associate Professor and Head of the Inflammation Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia. He received his BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and a PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra in 2003, where he studied cytokine receptor signalling. James next undertook postdoctoral training at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Toronto, Canada under the guidance of Prof Tony Pawson FRS, where he became interested in modular organization of kinase signaling. James then moved to WEHI in 2007, where he identified the mechanism by which the MLKL pseudokinase triggers the necroptosis cell death pathway before establishing his independent laboratory in 2015.


James serves on the editorial board of several journals including Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemical Journal and as a Grant Review Panel member for the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. He has organised a number of international meetings in the kinase/pseudokinase signalling field. James’s research is supported by an RD Wright Career Development Fellowship and grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council. In 2017, he was awarded the Burnet Prize, which is WEHI’s top science honour, awarded annually to early-career researchers who have produced influential research.