Professor Peter Parker FMedSci FRS
Peter Parker is a cancer researcher who isolated and cloned a key enzyme, protein kinase C (PKC), that responds to signals in the cell’s environment telling it whether to multiply or die. He showed that proteins from this family are also the targets of tumour promoters — mutated gene products that stimulate cells to grow and reproduce.
Peter’s studies of structure and function in the PKC family have focused on phosphorylation, the capacity to alter the function of other proteins by adding or removing molecular ‘tags’ in the form of phosphate groups. Other PKCs cleave lipids, releasing phosphorylated secondary messenger molecules.
These studies have generated biochemical and molecular evidence on how cancer progresses, and identified biomarkers that can reveal PKCs in action. Peter has also worked with clinical colleagues to identify agents targeted at PKCs that may help to shrink tumours or slow their growth, and to move these towards clinical trials.
Interests and expertise