Professor Stuart Wilson

by | 26 Jul 2022 | Sheffield, Supervisors | 0 comments


Research profile and key clinical specialities

We study mechanisms governing gene expression and how defects in these trigger human disease.

We are interested in RNA binding proteins and the many roles they play in this process including – transcription, splicing, mRNA transport and translation.

From a clinical perspective we work on a variety of diseases including motor neuron disease (MND) and recently identified a novel gene mutated in sporadic MND.

This gene functions together with the FUS and SMN genes involved in familial MND and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Understanding this axis is likely to reveal common underlying reasons for these neurodegenerative conditions.

We also work on neurodevelopmental disorders associated with mutations involving RNA binding proteins.

We are further interested in how DNA damage alters gene expression pathways and how PARP and PARP inhibitors, increasingly used in the treatment of cancer, alter this process.

To provide clinical relevance to our studies we work closely with a network of neurologists, clinical geneticists and urology surgeons.

We have published multiple papers in Science, Nature, Nature Neuuroscience, Molecular Cell in recent years.

Two key publications

  • Cruz, A. et al., Wilson,S.A., Rice, D.W. (2011) A Burkholderia pseudomallei toxin inhibits helicase activity of translation factor eIF4A. Science 324:821-824
  • Viphakone, N., Sudbery, I., Griffith, L., Heath, C. Sims, D., Wilson, S.A. (2019) Co-transcriptional loading of RNA export factors shapes the human transcriptome. Molecular Cell 75:310-323

Possible PhD projects

PhD projects areas are flexible but most likely in the area of mechanisms governing neurodevelopmental disorders, MND or cancer.

More information



Keywords: RNA, binding, proteins, motor neuron, disease, MND, atrophy, SMA, neurodegenerative, DNA, cancer, Stuart, Wilson, Sheffield