Professor Steve Winder

School of Biosciences

Emeritus Professor

Director of Recruitment and International Relations

Full contact details

Professor Steve Winder
School of Biosciences
Firth Court
Western Bank
S10 2TN

Brief career history

  • 2005-Present: Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, School of Biosciences, University of Sheffield
  • 2003-2005: Reader, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield
  • 1999-2003: Lecturer (99-01) Reader (02-03), University of Glasgow
  • 1995-1999: Wellcome Trust Fellow, ICMB, 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.
  • 1984-1988: PhD, University of Reading, Supervisor - Isabel Forsyth
Research interests

Regulation of dystroglycan function in muscular dystrophy and cancer

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.


  • Action Duchenne - Repurposed Cancer Therapeutics as Treatments for DMD
  • Duchenne UK - Are soy products effective in DMD?
  • White Rose - The Dystroglycan LINC
  • Action on Hearing Loss - Dystroglycan function in hearing and hearing loss

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Aguilera GV, Lopez JG, Gutierrez EJ, Limeta AV, Cisneros ML, Winder SJ & Cisneros-Vega B (2016) CRM1 mediates nuclear export of beta dystroglycan to maintain correct nuclear envelope integrity and function.. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, Vol. 27 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cerecedo DA, Martinez-Vieyra I, Maldonado DG, Hernandez EG & Winder SJ (2015) Association of membrane/lipid rafts with the platelet cytoskeleton and the Caveolin PY14 and its Participation in the Adhesion Process. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, Vol. 26 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martinez-Zarate A, Martinez-Vieyra I, Alonso-Rangel L, Cisneros B, Winder SJ & Cerecedo D (2014) Dystroglycan depletion inhibits the functions of differentiated HL-60 cells.. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, Vol. 25 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moore C, Mitchell A, La Riviere T, Lipscombe L, Piggott R, Parkin C, Miller G & Winder SJ (2011) Dystroglycan phosphorylation as a therapeutic target for DMD. NEUROMUSCULAR DISORDERS, Vol. 21(9-10) (pp 639-639) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Miller G, Moore C, Lipscomb L, Mitchell A & Winder S (2010) P29 Preventing dystroglycan phosphorylation as a route to therapy in DMD. Neuromuscular Disorders, Vol. 20 (pp S13-S13) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cross SS, Hollingbury FE, Lippitt JM, Evans CA, Balasubramanian SP, Reed MWR, Handy FC & Winder SJ (2005) Loss of intercellular expression of beta-dystroglycan is a common event in breast cancer. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, Vol. 205 (pp 8-8) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cross SS, Hollingbury FE, Lippitt JM, Feeley KM, Azzouzi AR, Winder SJ & Hamdy FC (2005) Loss of intercellular expression of beta-dystroglycan is a common event in prostate cancer and is significantly associated with loss of differentiation. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, Vol. 205 (pp 15-15) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cross SS, Hollingbury FE, Lippitt JM, Catto JW, Hamdy EC & Winder SJ (2005) beta-dystroglycan is constitutively expressed at the intercellular junctions of epithelial cells and this expression is frequently absent in common cancers. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, Vol. 205 (pp 6-6) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Batchelor CL & Winder SJ (2004) ERM-dependent regulation of the actin cytoskeleton by beta-dystroglycan. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, Vol. 15 (pp 171A-171A) RIS download Bibtex download


Teaching activities

Level 1

  • BMS109 Cell Biology
  • BMS110 Research Topics in Biomedicine

Level 3

  • Practical and Dissertation Modules

Level 4/Masters (MSc)

  • BMS402 Laboratory Research Project (MBiomedSci)
  • BMS6052 Laboratory Research Project (MSc)
Professional activities and memberships
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Duchenne UK
  • Member of the TREAT NMD Advisory Committee on Therapeutics (TACT)
  • Member of Editorial Boards of: International Journal of Cell Biology, BioMed Research International, PLoS Currents Muscular Dystrophy, Investigación en Discapacidad, Protein Modules Consortium.
  • External examiner for Molecular Medicine BSc, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Quinquennial review of MSc in Molecular Medicine, School of Biological Sciences, UEA, External Advisory Board for Biomedical Science, International Islamic University Malaysia, External Advisor to the Board of Studies for Biochemistry, Ramnarain Ruia College, Mumbai,
  • Recent Invited Conference presentations: 220th ENMC Workshop on ‘Dystroglycan and the dystroglycanopathies’, Naarden, Holland. EMBO Workshop on ‘The modularity of signalling proteins and networks’, Seefeld, Austria. IIUM Zebrafish Workshop, Kuantan, Malaysia. Action Duchenne International Conference, London. 5th International Workshop for Glycosylation Defects in Muscular Dystrophies, Charlotte, NC, USA.
  • Member of British Society for Cell Biology and Biochemical Society