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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Edward Parkin supervises 2 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Edward Parkin


Edward Parkin

Furness Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YG

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592246


Research overview

Dr Edward Parkin is interested in the pathological role of proteolysis in a range of human conditions including neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), cancer, hypertension, and African sleeping sickness.

Specifically, his interests are the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein, the prion protein, angiotensin converting enzymes, ADAMs proteases, and the trypanosomal major surface protease A.

Research Interests

Proteolysis in neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative condition caused by accumulation within the brain of neurotoxic amyloid beta (Aß)-peptides. These short peptides are derived from the larger amyloid precursor protein (APP) through sequential cleavage by two enzymes known as β- and γ-secretases. Alternatively, APP can be shed from the cell surface through the action of an α-secretase which cleaves within the Aß region of the molecule thereby precluding the formation of intact Aß-peptides.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a neurodegenerative condition which, like AD, is caused by the accumulation of an amyloidogenic protein. In CJD the normal cellular isoform of the prion protein (PrPC) is converted to the more amyloidogenic scrapie isoform (PrPSc). Like APP, PrP is subject to a number of proteolytic cleavages including shedding from the cell surface by an a-secretase-like activity. A large part of my work involves the characterisation of factors which regulate the proteolysis of PrP and APP.


ADAM proteases and cancer

A disintegrin and metalloproteases (ADAMs) are zinc-metalloproteases that have been implicated in the shedding of many cell surface proteins including APP and PrP (above). However, key functions for ADAMs have also emerged in relation to the shedding of cell surface ligands involved in cancer progression (e.g. ErbB and Jagged). Therefore, strategies targeting ADAMs might be of relevance in cancer treatments. A developing area of my research focuses upon the identification and regulation of ADAM sheddases involved in cancer development.



  • 1995 Ph.D. (Plant biochemistry), University of Central Lancashire, Preston
  • 1990 B.Sc.(Hons) Biochemistry, Lancaster University

Academic Posts

  • 1995-1998 Research Fellow, University of Leeds
  • 1998-2001 Research Fellow, University of Leeds
  • 2001-2004 Research Fellow, University of Leeds
  • 2004-2006 Senior Experimental Officer, University of Leeds
  • 2007-present Lecturer in Biochemistry, Lancaster University

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