Shaun M. Cowley



Tel:  +44 (0)116 2297098

Shaun image

Personal details

  • 2017: Appointed to Chair of Molecular Biology, University of Leicester
  • 2013: Appointed to Reader, University of Leicester
  • 2007: Appointed to Lectureship, University of Leicester
  • 2004-2006: Senior Research Associate - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (with Allan Bradley)
  • 1999-2004: Postdoctoral Fellow - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA.  (with Robert Eisenman)
  • 1994-1998: PhD Student - Imperial Cancer Research Fund. (with Malcolm Parker)

Prizes and Fellowships

  • 2016 Frank and Katherine May lecture prize
  • 2012 MRC Senior non-clinical Fellowship
  • 2007 MRC Career Development Award
  • 2003 Alan Wolffe Memorial Prize: awarded by the Rett Syndrome Research Foundation


Publication list:

  1. Simandi Z, Horvath A, Wright LC, Cuaranta-Monroy I, De Luca I, Karolyi K, Sauer S, Deleuze JF, Gudas LJ, Cowley SM, Nagy L.  OCT4 Acts as an Integrator of Pluripotency and Signal-Induced Differentiation.  Mol Cell. 2016 Aug 18;63(4):647-61
  2. Watson PJ, Millard CJ, Riley AM, Robertson NS, Wright LC, Godage HY, Cowley SM, Jamieson AG, Potter BV, Schwabe JW. Insights into the activation mechanism of class I HDAC complexes by inositol phosphates. Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 25;7:11262.
  3. Thambyrajah R, Mazan M, Patel R, Moignard V, Stefanska M, Marinopoulou E, Li Y, Lancrin C, Clapes T, Möröy T, Robin C, Miller C, Cowley S, Göttgens B, Kouskoff V, Lacaud G. GFI1 proteins orchestrate the emergence of haematopoietic stem cells through recruitment of LSD1.  Nat Cell Biol. 2016 Jan;18(1):21-32
  4. Portolano N, Watson PJ, Fairall L, Millard CJ, Milano CP, Song Y, Cowley SM, Schwabe JW. Recombinant protein expression for structural biology in HEK 293F suspension cells: a novel and accessible approach. J Vis Exp. 2014 Oct 16;(92):e51897
  5. Jamaladdin S, Kelly RD, O'Regan L, Dovey OM, Hodson GE, Millard CJ, Portolano N, Fry AM, Schwabe JW, Cowley SM.  Histone deacetylase (HDAC) 1 and 2 are essential for accurate cell division and the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 23
  6. Kelly RDW and Cowley SM. The physiological roles of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 1 and 2: complex co-stars with multiple leading parts. Biochem Soc Trans.2013 Jun 1;41(3):741-9
  7. Dovey OM, Foster CT, Conte N, Edwards SA, Edwards JM, Singh R, Vassiliou G, Bradley A, Cowley SM. Histone deacetylase 1 and 2 are essential for normal T-cell development and genomic stability in mice.  Blood.  2013 vol. 121 no. 8 1335-1344
  8. Whyte WA, Bilodeau S, Orlando DA, Hoke HA, Frampton GM, Foster CT, Cowley SM and Young RA. Enhancer decommissioning by LSD1 during embryonic stem cell differentiation.  Nature. 2012. FEB 9; 482: 221-225
  9. Foster CT, Dovey OM, Lezina L, Luo JL, Gant TW, Barlev N, Bradley A and Cowley SM. Lysine Specific Demethylase 1 (LSD1) Regulates the Embryonic Transcriptome and CoREST Stability.  Mol. Cell. Biol. 2010;30 4851-4863
  10. Dovey OM, Foster CT and Cowley SM. Emphasizing the positive: A role for histone deacetylases in transcriptional activation.  Cell Cycle. 2010 July 15;9(14):2700-2701.
  11. Dovey OM, Foster CT and Cowley SM. Histone Deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), but not HDAC2, controls embryonic stem cell differentiation.  PNAS. 2010 May4;107(18):8242-8247.
  12. Cowley SM, Iritani BM, Mendrysa SM, Xu T, Cheng PF, Yada JJ, Liggit DH, Eisenman RN. The mSin3A chromatin-modifying complex is essential for embryogenesis and T-cell development. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Aug;25(16):6990-7004.
  13. Swanson KA, Knoepfler PS, Huang K, Kang RS, Cowley SM, Laherty CD, Eisenman RN, Radhakrishnan I. HBP1 and Mad1 repressors bind the Sin3 corepressor PAH2 domain with opposite helical orientations. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2004 Aug;11(8):738-46.
  14. Cowley SM, Kang RS, Frangioni JV, Yada JJ, DeGrand AM, Radhakrishnan I, Eisenman RN. Functional analysis of the Mad1-mSin3A repressor-corepressor interaction reveals determinants of specificity, affinity, and transcriptional response. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Apr;24(7):2698-709
  15. Orian A, van Steensel B, Delrow J, Bussemaker HJ, Li L, Sawado T, Williams E, Loo LW, Cowley SM, Yost C, Pierce S, Edgar BA, Parkhurst SM, Eisenman RN. Genomic binding by the Drosophila Myc, Max, Mad/Mnt transcription factor network. Genes Dev. 2003 May 1;17(9):1101-14.
  16. Hook SS, Orian A, Cowley SM, Eisenman RN. Histone deacetylase 6 binds polyubiquitin through its zinc finger (PAZ domain) and co-purifies with deubiquitinating enzymes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Oct 15;99(21):13425-30.
  17. Brubaker K, Cowley SM, Huang K, Loo L, Yochum GS, Ayer DE, Eisenman RN, Radhakrishnan I. Solution structure of the interacting domains of the Mad-Sin3 complex: implications for recruitment of a chromatin-modifying complex. Cell. 2000 Nov 10;103(4):655-65.
  18. Grandori C, Cowley SM, James LP, Eisenman RN. The Myc/Max/Mad network and the transcriptional control of cell behavior. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2000;16:653-99.
  19. Cowley SM, Parker MG. A comparison of transcriptional activation by ER alpha and ER beta. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1999 Apr-Jun;69(1-6):165-75
  20. Parker MG, Cowley SM, Heery D, Henttu P, Kalkhoven E, Sjoberg M, Valentine JE, White R. Function of Estrogen Receptors in Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer. 1997 Dec 25;4(4):204-208.
  21. Cowley SM, Hoare S, Mosselman S, Parker MG. Estrogen receptors alpha and beta form heterodimers on DNA. J Biol Chem. 1997 Aug 8;272(32):19858-62.

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Redfearn Lecture 2017

To Be Confirmed