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Mr Jack Stubbs MSci (Hons) Biochemistry with a Year Abroad

Postgraduate Researcher in Structural Biology

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Jack is a postgraduate researcher in Structural Biology split between the University of Southampton, Diamond Light Source and Douglas Instruments, as part of the SoCoBio DTP.

He is developing novel approaches for time-resolved structural biology, with the aim of optimising microcrystallisation for several important protein targets (Pdx1, Hsp90 and IPNS), in preparation for beamtime at synchrotron and XFEL sources.

2017-2021 1st Class MSci (Hons) in Biochemistry with a Year Abroad, University of East Anglia.

MSci Dissertation Title: Insights to allosteric regulation of SH2-domain containing inositol phosphate phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) from real-time assays and molecular simulation.

Awarded The Tony Sims Award for best final year project on experimental biology.

Research interests

During my final MSci research project I investigated the allosteric regulation of SH2-domain containing inositol phosphate phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) using a combination of real-time enzymology and molecular dynamics simulations. During the summer before starting my PhD, I worked as a Research Assistant at the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich focused on resolving the structures of two plant receptor-effector complexes involved in the the mechanism of action of blast disease in rice crops.

I am fascinated by the field of structural biology, which comes inherently from being a visual learner throughout his undergraduate studies. During the PhD, I hope to solve multiple protein structures, which will provide further functional insights. This knowledge will contribute to an integrated understanding of human health and disease, a key player in treatment development and drug discovery.

My project will focus on optimising the crystallisation of three important protein targets to obtain homogenous microcrystal slurries, which can be utilised at the beamline as part of upcoming technologies including serial synchrotron crystallography (SSX) and serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX), to generate dynamic molecular movies in real-time. The three protein targets are Pdx1, a drug target for malaria or tuberculosis, Hsp90, a chaperone implicated in maintaining multiple cancers and Isopenicillin-N-synthase (IPNS), an enzyme required for the conversion of a natural tripeptide substrate into isopenicillin-N, a β-lactam antibiotic. The hope is that along with the help of industry partners, technologies developed during the PhD will be utilised by other beamline users in the field, whilst also becoming mainstream at both synchrotons and XFELs.

MPhil/PhD supervision:

  • Dr Ivo Tews (University of Southampton),
  • Dr Allen Orville (Diamond Light Source),
  • Patrick Shaw Stewart (Douglas Instruments Ltd),
  • Dr Jonathan West (University of Southampton) 
  • Dr S. Mark Roe (University of Sussex)

MPhil/PhD research title: Developing novel approaches for time-resolved structural biology

Research funding agency/body: SoCoBio DTP – Split between University of Southampton and Diamond Light Source


Research group

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Affiliate research group

Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Supervising and Demonstrating BIOL3034 - Laboratory Research Project

Mr Jack Stubbs
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

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