Faculty of Biological Sciences

Prof John Colyer

BSc, CNAA; MPhil, London; PhD 1988, Southampton
Professor of Biotechnology
School of Biomedical Sciences

Background: BSc; CNAA; MPhil, London. PhD, Southampton. Post-doctoral work in the MRC Group in Signal Transduction, University of Calgary, Canada. British Heart Foundation Lecturer at University of Leeds, 1991-99. Senior Lecturer, 1999-current. Founder of Fluoroscience Ltd (biotech/drug discovery company), 1998

Contact:  Garstang 7.53b, +44(0) 113 34 33124, email address for  

You can read more about Prof Colyer's interests here:

Research Interests

Natural & Therapeutic Control of Cardiac Function

We are interested in the control of cardiac muscle behaviour by physiological and pathological stresses. These stresses control cardiac function by post-translational modification of key proteins (phosphorylation, oxidation, etc.) in Excitation-Contraction Coupling, and we develop new tools to define the role of these site-specific modifications in physiological and pathological circumstances.

Our research has direct application to industry, and we collaborate with companies – most notably Badrilla, a spin-out company from this laboratory – to produce new experimental tools for the cardiovascular field, and to develop quantitative biomarker detection approaches for systems biology.


Current Projects

Oxidation of CaMKII in Health & Disease

Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a key regulator of physiological behaviour in the heart and elsewhere. Oxidation of specific residues in CaMKII (Met-281/282) occurs in pathological situations, and leads to long lasting enzyme activity which underpins the pathological phenotype. In collaboration with chemists and clinicians at Leeds, we are exploring the pattern of oxidation of CaMKII (site- and stereo-specific oxidation of individual residues), characterising new tools for the measurement of particular oxidation states and examining the association of oxidation with particular vascular diseases.

An MSc by Research position is available in this project (July 2013).


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Oxidation of CaMKII in Health & Disease
    Keywords: peptide chemistry, mass spectrometry, immunoassay. (Laboratory)
  • Protein phosphorylation in cardiac muscle contraction
    Keywords: Signal transduction, cardiac myocytes, immunotechniques (blotting/microscopy), microinjection (Laboratory)
  • Control of cellular differentiation: Cellular transplantation therapies
    Keywords: In title (Literature)

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Oxidation of CaMKII in Health & Disease

See also:

Modules managed

BIOL5265M - Investigational New Drug (IND) Project
BIOL5269M - Commercialising Biopharmaceutical Products
BMSC2120 - Scientific Skills

Modules taught

BIOL2210/BIOC2301 - Integrated Biochemistry/Biological Membranes
BIOL5162M - Biopharmaceutical Drug Discovery
BIOL5265M - Investigational New Drug (IND) Project
BIOL5269M - Commercialising Biopharmaceutical Products
BIOL5371M - Research Planning and Scientific Communication
BIOL5397M - Practical Skills for a Regulatory Environment
BMSC1103 - Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills
BMSC1213 - Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
BMSC2120 - Scientific Skills
BMSC3101 - Inherited Disorders
BMSC3301 - Research Project in Biomedical Sciences
BMSC5382M - Extended Research Project


Member of Masters Taught Student Education Committee

Centre membership: The Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre (MCRC)

Group Leader Prof John Colyer  (Professor of Biotechnology)

Natural & Therapeutic Control of Cardiac Function  

Dr Moninder Bhogal  (Visiting Research Fellow)

Dr Kathleen Wright  (Senior Scientific Officer in Cardiovascular Science)

Supporting laboratory research development, training and management in the department of Cardiovascular Sciences 


Thomas Sheard (Co-supervisor) 33% FTE