Research Focus


  • Ageing
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Super-Resolution Microscopy
  • Clinical Conditions

  • Motor neurone disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Science Culture

  • Mentorship
  • Public Outreach
  • Reproducibility in Science
  • Teaching
  • Back

    Dr Dezerae Cox

    University Position
    Junior Research Fellow
    Dr Dezerae Cox is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


    My work seeks to uncover the fundamental molecular drivers of neurodegenerative disease. These diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Motor Neuron (ALS) disease, are unified by a failure in the machinery that normally keeps our cells healthy in the proteostasis network. Failures in this network allow the accumulation of damaged protein molecules into clumps within the brain. We do not fully understand the role of protein clumps in disease onset and progression. Protein clumps, or aggregates, are rare and often heterogeneous, making them an elusive target when trying to understand, prevent or reverse their toxicity. Currently, I am developing novel quantitation tools to fingerprint protein aggregates released from the brains of MND patients using a toolbox of sensitive imaging and mass spectrometry techniques. These fingerprints will assist researchers to select models which produce similar aggregates in the lab, such that they can be used to identify and test novel therapies.

    Key Publications

    Sequence grammar underlying the unfolding and phase separation of globular proteins.

    Journal: Mol Cell
    E-pub date: 1 Sep 2022
    Authors: KM Ruff, YH Choi, D Cox, AR Ormsby, Y Myung, DB Ascher, SE Radford, RV Pappu, DM Hatters

    Hidden information on protein function in censuses of proteome foldedness.

    Journal: Nat Commun
    E-pub date: 14 Apr 2022
    Authors: D Cox, C-S Ang, NB Nillegoda, GE Reid, DM Hatters


    Characterization and super-resolution imaging of small tau aggregates in human samples

    E-pub date: 1 Aug 2023
    Authors: D Böken, D Cox, M Burke, J Lam, T Katsinelos, J Danial, W McEwan, J Rowe, D Klenerman

    A biosensor of protein foldedness identifies increased “holdase” activity of chaperones in the nucleus following increased cytosolic protein aggregation.

    Journal: J Biol Chem
    E-pub date: 31 Aug 2022
    Authors: CB Raeburn, AR Ormsby, D Cox, CA Gerak, C Makhoul, NS Moily, S Ebbinghaus, A Dickson, G McColl, DM Hatters

    Probing Protein Solubility Patterns with Proteomics for Insight into Network Dynamics.

    Journal: Methods Mol Biol
    E-pub date: 1 Aug 2022
    Authors: X Sui, M Radwan, D Cox, DM Hatters

    Replicative aging impedes stress-induced assembly of a key human protein disaggregase

    E-pub date: 1 Aug 2022
    Authors: Y Mathangasinghe, N Alberts, C Rosado, D Cox, N Payne, A Ormsby, KM Alp, R Sakson, S Uthishtran, T Ruppert, S Arumugam, D Hatters, H Kampinga, N Nillegoda

    A Census of Hsp70-Mediated Proteome Solubility Changes upon Recovery from Heat Stress.

    Journal: J Proteome Res
    E-pub date: 6 May 2022
    Authors: X Sui, D Cox, S Nie, GE Reid, DM Hatters

    PINK1 signalling in neurodegenerative disease.

    Journal: Essays Biochem
    E-pub date: 22 Dec 2021
    Authors: DR Whiten, D Cox, CM Sue

    A biosensor to gauge protein homeostasis resilience differences in the nucleus compared to cytosol of mammalian cells

    E-pub date: 1 Aug 2021
    Authors: C Raeburn, A Ormsby, N Moily, D Cox, S Ebbinghaus, A Dickson, G McColl, D Hatters

    N- and C-terminal regions of αB-crystallin and Hsp27 mediate inhibition of amyloid nucleation, fibril binding, and fibril disaggregation.

    Journal: J Biol Chem
    E-pub date: 17 Jul 2020
    Authors: EE Selig, CO Zlatic, D Cox, Y-F Mok, PR Gooley, H Ecroyd, MDW Griffin

    Arginine in C9ORF72 Dipolypeptides Mediates Promiscuous Proteome Binding and Multiple Modes of Toxicity.

    Journal: Mol Cell Proteomics
    E-pub date: 1 Apr 2020
    Authors: M Radwan, C-S Ang, AR Ormsby, D Cox, JC Daly, GE Reid, DM Hatters

    Protein aggregation in cell biology: An aggregomics perspective of health and disease.

    Journal: Semin Cell Dev Biol
    E-pub date: 1 Mar 2020
    Authors: D Cox, C Raeburn, X Sui, DM Hatters

    Single-Molecule Characterization of the Interactions between Extracellular Chaperones and Toxic α-Synuclein Oligomers.

    Journal: Cell Rep
    E-pub date: 19 Jun 2018
    Authors: DR Whiten, D Cox, MH Horrocks, CG Taylor, S De, P Flagmeier, L Tosatto, JR Kumita, H Ecroyd, CM Dobson, D Klenerman, MR Wilson

    The small heat shock protein Hsp27 binds α-synuclein fibrils, preventing elongation and cytotoxicity.

    Journal: J Biol Chem
    E-pub date: 23 Mar 2018
    Authors: D Cox, DR Whiten, JWP Brown, MH Horrocks, R San Gil, CM Dobson, D Klenerman, AM van Oijen, H Ecroyd

    A biosensor-based framework to measure latent proteostasis capacity.

    Journal: Nat Commun
    E-pub date: 18 Jan 2018
    Authors: RJ Wood, AR Ormsby, M Radwan, D Cox, A Sharma, T Vöpel, S Ebbinghaus, M Oliveberg, GE Reid, A Dickson, DM Hatters

    Preventing α-synuclein aggregation: the role of the small heat-shock molecular chaperone proteins.

    Journal: Biochim Biophys Acta
    E-pub date: 1 Sep 2014
    Authors: D Cox, JA Carver, H Ecroyd

    The structured core domain of αB-crystallin can prevent amyloid fibrillation and associated toxicity.

    Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
    E-pub date: 22 Apr 2014
    Authors: GKA Hochberg, H Ecroyd, C Liu, D Cox, D Cascio, MR Sawaya, MP Collier, J Stroud, JA Carver, AJ Baldwin, CV Robinson, DS Eisenberg, JLP Benesch, A Laganowsky