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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Roderick Williams works on the molecular, cell biology and biochemistry of neglected and orphan parasitic protozoans such as Leishmania spp and Acanthamoeba spp. His primary research goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which the protozoa parasites, Leishmania and Acanthamoeba parasites undergo cellular remodelling during their complex life cycles to aid survival and virulence. He primarily focuses on essential proteins such as peptidases,  conjugating and deconjugating proteins and their respective adaptor molecules involved in cellular pathways that regulate the activities of post-translational modifications to, and the turnover of proteins e.g. sumoylation, autophagy.  He is also interested sterol and phospholipids biosynthesis, with a particular focus on natural and synthetic inhibitors, natural variation in the Leishmania metabolome in disease tropism and new methods for investigating the essentiality and druggability of essential targets important for disease progression, in Leishmania spp. More recently, he is investigating the enzymology of cellulose degradation for therapeutic and bioenergy solutions and the use of soil microbiome for metal bioremediation

Desired research direction

My ultimate goals are to (a) identify novel molecular mechanisms that can be exploited for the development of anti-parasite therapies and (b) utilise microbial cellulose degradation pathways and microbials to provide a sustainable bioenergy solution.

Current research activities

Current projects include: (a) Protein sumoylation and cell cycle progression of Leishmania, (b) The druggabbilty of enzymes involved in sterol and phospholipids biosynthesis in Leishmania spp and Acanthamoeba spp (c) Enzymology of cellulose degradation for therapeutic and bioenergy solutions (d) Metal bioremediation.

Target collaborative companies

Biotechnology Industry - Interested in working with companies seeking help with identifying targets and developing better therapy for tropical parasitic conditions and bioenergy solutions from cellulose degradation and microbial fuel cell

Target collaborative organisations

Collaborations with Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and York are ongoing, but I am also keen to develop new collaborations with other institutions within and outside the UK

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