Research Focus


  • Rare Disease
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Myelin
  • Lysosomal Storage Disorder
  • Synapse
  • Clinical Conditions

  • Childhood disorders
  • Brain cancer
  • Genetic disorders
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • X-ray crystallography
  • Cell culture
  • Enzyme assays
  • Microscopy
  • Protein purification
  • Science Culture

  • Widening Participation
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Mentorship
  • Back

    Dr Janet Deane

    University Position
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
    Dr Janet Deane is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


    We study the role of lipid processing pathways in demyelinating neurodegenerative disease. We are interested in how the composition of cellular membranes is maintained and what the effects are when this composition is altered. Lipids and proteins need to be correctly trafficked between intracellular compartments and the plasma membrane. This trafficking includes the synthesis of new components and the degradation of old components. Several severe, early-onset neurodegenerative disorders are caused by defects in the ability to degrade essential lipids in the lysosome. We are using a range of molecular and cellular approaches to understand the underlying mechanisms of rare, genetic neurodegenerative and demyelinating diseases.

    Molecular imaging in neurodegenerative diseases.

    Immunofluorescence image of neurons encoding a mutation that causes Tay-Sachs diseases (left); Electron microscopy structure of a protein essential for myelin-axon contacts in Krabbe disease (right).

    Key Publications

    Altered plasma membrane abundance of the sulfatide-binding protein NF155 links glycosphingolipid imbalances to demyelination.

    Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
    E-pub date: 4 Apr 2023
    Authors: SJ McKie, AS Nicholson, E Smith, S Fawke, ER Caroe, JC Williamson, BG Butt, D Kolářová, O Peterka, M Holčapek, PJ Lehner, SC Graham, JE Deane

    The mechanism of sphingolipid processing revealed by a GALC-SapA complex structure

    E-pub date: 1 Aug 2017
    Authors: C Hill, G Cook, S Spratley, S Graham, J Deane


    The structure of a Plasmodium vivax Tryptophan Rich Antigen domain suggests a lipid binding function for a pan-Plasmodium multi-gene family

    Journal: Nat Commun
    E-pub date: 14 Sep 2023
    Authors: P Kundu, D Naskar, SJ McKie, S Dass, U Kanjee, V Introini, MU Ferreira, P Cicuta, M Duraisingh, JE Deane, JC Rayner

    Determinants of receptor tyrosine phosphatase homophilic adhesion: Structural comparison of PTPRK and PTPRM extracellular domains.

    Journal: J Biol Chem
    E-pub date: 1 Jan 2023
    Authors: IM Hay, M Shamin, ER Caroe, ASA Mohammed, DI Svergun, CM Jeffries, SC Graham, HJ Sharpe, JE Deane

    Molecular mechanism of Afadin substrate recruitment to the receptor phosphatase PTPRK via its pseudophosphatase domain.

    Journal: Elife
    E-pub date: 20 Oct 2022
    Authors: IM Hay, KE Mulholland, T Lai, SC Graham, HJ Sharpe, JE Deane

    Attenuation hotspots in neurotropic human astroviruses

    E-pub date: 1 Aug 2022
    Authors: H Ali, A Lulla, A Nicholson, E Wignall-Fleming, R O’Connor, D-L Vu, S Graham, J Deane, S Guix, V Lulla

    Protein Tyrosine Pseudophosphatase Signalling Mechanisms

    Journal: FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
    E-pub date: 1 May 2022
    Authors: HJ Sharpe, IM Hay, JE Deane