ANZOS OSSANZ AOCO 2017

Professor Christopher Proud

Professor Chris Proud has held numerous positions as lecturer, reader or professor in universities in the UK, Germany and Canada.

When he first established his own laboratory at The University of Kent, his research focused on studying the signalling pathways that regulate protein synthesis in mammalian cells. At the University of Dundee, alongside his duties as Head of the Division of Molecular Physiology, he also coordinated the Medical Research Council Nutrient Sensing & Signalling Research Group.

From 2005-2008, he was Head of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, where he continued his research into the regulation of protein synthesis, and the protein kinases that control the protein synthesis machinery of the cell. He also served as co-Director of that University’s Life Sciences Institute.

Chris worked at the University of Southampton from 2008 – 2014 where he led a substantial research team studying the mechanisms which control protein synthesis and ribosome biogenesis. He studied their roles in metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders, and in normal and disease-associated neurological processes.

He has supervised more than forty MSc or PhD students and almost fifty postdoctoral researchers.

In September 2014 Chris moved to Adelaide to take the position of Theme Leader: Nutrition and Metabolism at the SAHMRI, where he will continue his work on the control of metabolism in health and disease.

Chris is also a Professor in Molecular and Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide.

Chris is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Biochemical Journalf1000 Research and Translation. He holds a Visiting Professorship at China Ocean University in Qingdao and a Distinguished Foreign Expert position at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

In addition to leading his growing research group at SAHMRI, he also supervises researchers in Southampton. In the UK, he held research funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, The Medical Research Council, AstraZeneca, Diabetes UK and the Gerald Kerkut Trust.

His research at SAHMRI includes studies on the roles of controlling protein synthesis in neurological processes and in stroke; the regulation of protein synthesis in heart and muscle; cancer cell biology; and the molecular mechanisms involved in diet-induced inflammation, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Much of his current research focuses on protein kinases that control the protein synthesis machinery, i.e., eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K) and the MAP kinase-interacting kinases (MNKs).

In January 2016 Professor Chris Proud was announced as the new Director of the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit (LDRU). Chris succeeds Professor John Hopwood who founded the unit in the mid 1970’s to improve the diagnosis of lysosomal storage disorders and to develop treatments. John made key discoveries into how these diseases occur and, crucially, was able to use this information to develop new treatments.

Recently the group have widened their area of research to include investigation into the causes of other major neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntingdon’s disease. It is thought the underlying cause of these diseases is also related to defects in the cell’s recycling centre – the lysosome.

In addition, LDRU researchers are studying new aspects of childhood disorders – including potential treatments for a childhood-onset form of dementia called Sanfilippo syndrome and investigating the changes in the brain which lead to autism.