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Fellows Directory

Brian Sykes

Professor Brian Sykes FRS


Elected: 2000


Brian Sykes is a biologist who studies the relationships between the structure and dynamics of proteins in the control of biological functions. Brian is also an expert on the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy techniques.

By combining high-resolution NMR methodologies with computer analyses of molecular models, Brian and his team investigate proteins that regulate muscle contraction. Calcium is essential for contraction of the heart, for example, and Brian’s studies focus on the mechanism of calcium control that may lead to better approaches to fight cardiovascular disease.

Brian examines the use of drugs to regulate the calcium affinity of the heart as well as the effects of phosphorylation — a cellular process in which phosphate groups are added to proteins — on the activation or deactivation of protein functions. He is also focusing on how an increase in blood acidity, known as acidosis, and inherited heart mutations called familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affect the cardiac system.

Professional positions

Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta
Visiting Professor, King's College London, King's College London

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Antifreeze proteins, Calcium signaling, Cardiac muscles, Cardiovascular diseases, Intrinsically disordered proteins, NMR spectroscopy, Phosphorylation, Prions