John Schwabe


Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7030

Personal details

  • BA(Hons) Biochemistry, University College, University of Oxford (1983-1987).
  • PhD Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge & MRC-Lab of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK (1987-1991).
  • Postdoctoral fellow MRC-Lab of Molecular Biology (1992-1994).
  • Staff Scientist, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California USA (1995-1997).
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California USA (1997-1999)
  • Group Leader / Senior Scientist MRC-Lab of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK (1997-2006)
  • Professor of Structural Biology, University of Leicester UK (2006- )
  • Head of Department of Biochemistry (2010-2015)
  • Head of Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (2015- 2017)



  • Structural Biology: NMR Spectroscopy & X-ray Crystallography
  • Molecular mechanisms of the regulation of gene expression
  • Nuclear receptors and their role in metabolism, development and disease

Research summary

Current research interests

The current major interest in the group is understanding the structure and function of HDAC-containing corepressor complexes. This work is supported by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. These complexes play an important role in the regulation of development, differentiation, cancer and homeostasis.

In addition, the group has a long-standing interest in the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors. Nuclear receptors are important regulators of gene expression and are major drug targets. Our understanding of the mechanism of the ligand-regulated switch has been greatly enhanced by studies of the structure and dynamics of nuclear receptors.

In addition to these core research areas, the group is also involved in a number of collaborative projects with an emphasis on proteins and complexes implicated in various cancers.

Recent research funding

  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award (HDAC complexes)
  • EU Research Training Network (Nuclear receptors)
  • BBSRC Project Grant (Specificity of HDAC1 complexes)
  • Wellcome Trust Equipment Grant (Anaerobic crystallisation facility)
  • Wellcome Trust Project Grant (IDOL: The E3 ligase for the LDL receptor)
  • Wellcome Trust Programme Grant (Transcriptional Repression Complexes)


Postdoctoral fellows

PhD Students

  • Mr Almutasem Saleh
  • Mrs Irene Nigi
  • Ms Beatriz Romartinez
  • Ms Lyndsey Wright (Joint with Dr Shaun Cowley)
  • Ms Siyu Wang
  • Ms Jenni Gurnett

Experimental Officers

  • Ms Jacquie Greenwood
  • Previous Members of the Group
  • Ms Sian Evans
  • Mr Nicola Portolano
  • Dr Ben Goult
  • Dr Imran Shah
  • Mr Robert Paskin
  • Dr Thorsten Kampmann
  • Dr Toshimasa Itoh
  • Dr Guilherme Santos
  • Dr Jasmeen Oberoi
  • Mr John Gooch
  • Dr Mariko Ariyoshi
  • Dr Anna Codina
  • Dr Bettina Kallenberger
  • Dr James Love
  • Dr Gina Clayton
  • Dr Zsolt Szijgyarto
  • Dr Gregg Hudson
  • Dr Peter Watson
  • Dr Charles Milano
  • Dr Naomi Allaway

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Contact Details

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

T: +44(0)116 229 7038

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