Professor Steve Winder

Steve WinderProfessor of Molecular Cell Biology
Director of Postgraduate Teaching
Department of Biomedical Science
The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 2332
Room: B2 06 Florey building


Career history

  • Present: Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Department, University of Sheffield, Sheffield UK
  • 2003-2005: Reader, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield UK
  • 1999-2003 : Lecturer (99-01) Reader (02-03), University of Glasgow
  • 1995-1999 : Wellcome Trust Fellow, University of Edinburgh,
  • 1992-1995 : Staff Scientist, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge - Advisor, Jake Kendrick-Jones
  • 1988-1992: Postdoctoral Fellow, Biochemistry, University of Calgary, Advisor - Mike Walsh.
  • 1994-1998 : PhD, University of Reading, Supervisor - Isabel Forsyth

Research interests

The main research focus of my group is centered around understanding the normal functions of the cell adhesion and signalling adaptor protein dystroglycan and in diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cancer. In particular we are investigating the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, adhesion mediated signalling and cell motility and invasion using molecular cell biology and transgenic approaches.

My research group is part of the Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics (CMIAD).


Activities and distinctions

  • Member of Editorial Boards of: International Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Advanced Studies in Biology, Landes Bioscience, also member of Biochemical Journal Editorial Advisory Panel, and Board of Protein Modules Consortium.
  • Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research grant review committee member. Regular grant reviewer for BBSRC, Welcome Trust, Telethon Italia and Asociation Française Contre les Myopathies.
  • Invited talks at FASEB Summer Research Conference Snowmass USA; EMBO Workshop on 'Coiled coils collagen and co-proteins' Alpbach, Austria; ESF Conference on ‘Functional Protein Modules’ Seefeld, Austria; British Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting, York, England.
  • Invited peer reviewed reviews in Trends in Cell Bioloy, Current Opinion in Cell Biology and Trends in Biochemical Science. Editor and author of Molecular Mechanisms of Muscular Dystrophies, Landes Bioscience.


  • Duchenne Parent Project NL.
  • Action Duchenne. University of Sheffield

Selected publications since 2014

Full publications list.

Research Overview

The laminin binding protein dystroglycan plays multiple roles in cell adhesion, signalling and membrane cytoskeleton stability. Perturbation of dystroglycan function underlies several muscular dystrophies and is also a secondary consequence of adenocarcinoma progression. Changes to the post-translational modification of dystroglycan are crucial in directing the associations, cellular localisation and ultimately degradation of dystroglycan. Our aim is to elucidate the mechanisms and consequences of these post-translational modifications in order to better understand dystroglycan function and to identify potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of muscular dystrophy or cancer.

We employ in vitro, in/ex vivo fish and mouse genetic models with clinically relevant archival tissue samples or immortalised cell lines. Dystroglycan function is dissected through the use of molecular cell biology approaches, and potential therapeutic targets are assessed in vitro and in vivo. Recently we have developed a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy using inhibitors of tyrosine phosphorylation and proteasomal degradation. Through the use of zebrafish screening and phenotypic analysis in mdx mice and human DMD myoblasts we are in the process of validating the potential for repurposed drugs as a precursor to initiating clinical trials. Physiological analysis is carried out I collaboration with Nic Wells at the RVC London.

In vitro models of prostate cancer have revealed a role for the post-translational proteolytic processing and nuclear targeting of dystroglycan. Current efforts are centred around characterising a role as part of the LINC complex in the inner nuclear membrane. These studies form part of an ongoing collaboration with Bulmaro Cisneros, CINVESTAV Mexico City.