Dr Chun Guo

Dr Chun GuoLecturer
Department of Biomedical Science
The University of Sheffield
Firth Court
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Room: B2 221a Alfred Denny building
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 3648
Email: c.guo@sheffield.ac.uk



Cell Biology and Cancer


Brief career history

  • 2015–Present: Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield
  • 2013–2015: Research Fellow, School of Biochemistry, University of Bristol
  • 2009–2013: Senior Research Associate, School of Biochemistry, University of Bristol
  • 2002–2009: Research Associate, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester
  • 1999–2002: PhD, Leicester School of Pharmacy, De Montfort University, U.K.
  • 1996–1999: Lecturer, Department of Human Anatomy, Medical College of Soochow University, China.
  • 1991–1996: Teaching Assistant, Department of Human Anatomy, Medical College of Soochow University, China.
  • 1986–1991: MBBS, Medical College of Soochow University, China

Research summary

My research interests are to understand the basic cell biology and signaling pathways associated with protein post-translational modifications (PTMs, e.g., Proteolytic Cleavage, Phosphorylation, Ubiquitination and SUMOylation) in cell death, survival and repair following stress, and to translate the findings into animal models of human diseases and into treatments for human disease.

Professional activities

  • Member of the Anatomical Society (2017)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2018)
  • Member of the British Society for Cell Biology (2019)
  • Peer reviewer for scientific journals including Nature Communications, Autophagy, The FASEB Journal, Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, Biochemical Journal, Scientific Reports
  • Peer reviewer for grant-awarding bodies including BBSRC, Royal Society and BRACE – Alzheimer’s Research

Full publications list


Protein SUMOylation and deSUMOylation in health and disease.

One type of PTM is SUMOylation, which involves the attachment of a small protein called Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO) to target proteins. SUMOylation is essential for the survival of all plant and animal cells because it regulates protein-protein interactions, either promoting or hindering specific interactions according to the molecular environment.

Thus the functional consequences of SUMO attachment vary greatly depending on the substrate and the cell type, and in most cases remain only poorly understood. SUMOylation can be reversed by the action of SUMO proteases to cleave the bond between proteins. This is called deSUMOylation. The largest and most characterised family of SUMO proteases is that of the sentrin-specific proteases (SENPs). Specific targets and physiological roles for SENPs are largely unknown.

In my laboratory a combination of techniques including molecular cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology and histology is used to address the roles of protein SUMOylation and deSUMOylation in health and disease, particularly in neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The results may lead to better understanding of disease processes, more effective therapies, an enhancement to the quality of life of both patients and their carers and finally, an easing of the substantial economic burden which dementia and ALS currently impose.


Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

Level 1 modules:

  • BMS110 Research Topics in Biomedicine

Level 2 modules:

  • BMS243 Careers
  • BMS246 Introduction to Human Anatomy

Level 3 modules:

  • BMS352 - Forensic Anatomy
  • BMS339 - Patients as Educators
  • BMS349 - Extended Library Project
  • BMS369 - Laboratory Project

Masters (MSc)

  • MSc Human Anatomy and Education
  • MSc Molecular Medicine (Medical School)

Selected publications

Journal articles