Department of Biochemistry University of Oxford Department of Biochemistry
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 613200
Fax: +44 (0)1865 613201
Image showing the global movement of lipids in a model planar membrane
Matthieu Chavent, Sansom lab
Anaphase bridges in fission yeast cells
Whitby lab
Lactose permease represented using bending cylinders in Bendix software
Caroline Dahl, Sansom lab
Epithelial cells in C. elegans showing a seam cell that failed to undergo cytokinesis
Serena Ding, Woollard lab
Collage of Drosophila third instar larva optic lobe
Lu Yang, Davis lab
First year Biochemistry students at a practical class
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Ian Gibbs-Seymour
Genome stability & its regulatory signalling mechanisms

Co-workers: Ben Foster

Our research is driven by the following questions:

How do cells ensure genome stability in response to DNA damage encountered during S-phase?
What genetic interactions are important for these mechanisms?
How are these mechanisms controlled and regulated by post-translational modifications?

Genome stability and replication-coupled DNA repair

Genome duplication is essential for the propagation of cellular organisms, yet errors that occur during DNA replication are a source of genomic instability and a central factor contributing to cancer. Normally, replication-coupled DNA repair mechanisms protect cells from genomic instability, but often these essential systems go wrong in cancer. Therefore, the long-term research goal of the lab is to elucidate the mechanisms governing replication-coupled DNA repair in normal and cancer cells, to provide a deeper understanding of these processes and ultimately inform novel therapeutic anticancer strategies.

Post-translational modifications in DNA repair

Protein signalling within DNA repair pathways requires fine spatiotemporal regulation, which is achieved, in part, by post-translational modifications (PTMs) such ADP-ribosylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. PTMs provide a multifaceted mechanism to control various aspects of protein function, including localisation, turnover and activation or repression. Importantly, enzymes involved in the regulation of PTM signalling are attractive anticancer targets. Our research aims to understand the roles and mechanisms of these proteins within the context of replication-coupled DNA repair, with a focus on ubiquitin signalling.

To address our research aims, we will employ a range of biochemical, cellular and genetic approaches (see image below), which will be supported by the world-class facilities in the Department of Biochemistry and broader Oxford research environment.


  1. Kwasna D, Abdul Rehman SA, Natarajan J, Matthews S, Madden R, De Cesare V, Weidlich S, Virdee S, Ahel I, Gibbs-Seymour I* and Kulathu Y*. (2018) Discovery and Characterization of ZUFSP/ZUP1, a Distinct Deubiquitinase Class Important for Genome Stability. Molecular Cell.
  2. Bonfiglio JJ, Fontana P, Zhang Q, Colby T, Gibbs-Seymour I, Atanassov I, Bartlett E, Zaja R, Ahel I & Matic I (2017) Serine ADP-ribosylation depends on HPF1. Molecular Cell.
  3. Gibbs-Seymour I,Fontana P, Rack JG, Ahel I. (2016) HPF1/C4orf27 is a PARP-1 interacting protein that regulates PARP-1 activity. Molecular Cell.
  4. Gibbs-Seymour I, Oka Y, Rajendra E, Weinert B, Passmore L, Patel K J, Olsen J V, Choudary C, Bekker-Jensen S, Mailand N. (2015) Ubiquitin-SUMO circuitry controls activated Fanconi Anemia ID complex dosage at sites of DNA damage. Molecular Cell.
  5. Mosbech A*, Gibbs-Seymour I*, et al.(2012) DVC1/C1orf124 is a DNA damage-targeting VCP/p97 adaptor that promotes ubiquitin dependent responses to replication blocks. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
More Publications...

Research Images



Postdoctoral positions - we will soon advertise for postdoctoral research positions in the lab, so please get in touch if you are interested in joining from May 2018 onwards.

In addition, if you want to join the lab with your own Postdoctoral Fellowship, support will be provided for candidates throughout the application process. Please get in touch to discuss opportunities.

DPhil students - get in touch if you are interested in joining the lab, the Department of Biochemistry has a comprehensive list of available studentships:

Undergraduate Biochemistry Part II students and summer students - please get in touch to discuss opportunities.