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Professor Jo Adams

Professor Jo Adams

Professor Jo Adams
MA(Cantab.), PhD(Lond.)

Professor of Cell Biology

Area of research

Role of Signaling to the Cytoskeleton by the Extracellular Matrix in Cell Motility Processes

Office DW14a
Biomedical Sciences Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TD
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 2361


The central interest of the laboratory is in cell-matrix adhesion processes and their roles in regulating intracellular signaling and cell protrusions. We study molecular mechanisms of these processes in health and disease. Research areas focus on extracellular processes that modulate extracellular matrix organization, also on intracellular signaling pathways that regulate actin cytoskeletal organisation in cell protrusions and adhesion complexes. More details of each area are given on the laboratory Group Page.

  • Fascin-based protrusions and their role in carcinoma cell migration and metastasis: Current projects study signaling mechanisms that regulate actin-bundling by fascin in carcinoma cell migration and metastasis, examine how fascin and other components of protrusions are integrated, and assess the suitability of fascin-1 as a potential novel therapeutic target.
  • Thrombospondins and their roles in Extracellular Matrix: We are examining the evolution of thrombospondins and their conserved roles within the extracellular matrix, in particular the molecular mechanisms by which thrombospondins become deposited into the extracellular matrix through interactions with cell surfaces and other matrix components.
  • The Muskelin/RanBP9/CTLH complex: Muskelin and RanBP9 are co-associated proteins whose knockdown phenotypes in mammalian cells demonstrate functional roles in cell morphology regulation. RanBP9 mediates association with a widely-expressed protein complex, referred to as muskelin/RanBP9/CTLH complex. A homologous complex in budding yeast functions in proteosomal and vacuolar degradation of specific target proteins, however, fundamental aspects of the organisation, regulation and roles of muskelin/RanBP9/CTLH complex in mammalian cells remain unknown. We are examining the hypothesis that mammalian muskelin/RanBP9/CTLH complex regulates degradation of specific target proteins that include cytoskeletal and adhesion proteins.

More details of each area are given on the laboratory Group Page.


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Link to: Hydra Mesoglea Proteome Identifies Thrombospondin as a Conserved Component Active in Head Organizer Restriction.


1981. B.A. Cantab (Natural Sciences, Biological) 1985. M.A. Cantab. 1987. Ph.D. University of London.

1987-1990. Post-doctoral researcher, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London. (Laboratory of Fiona Watt).

1990-1991. EMBO Long Term Fellow and 1992-1994. HFSPO Long Term Fellow,  Vascular Research Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University. (Laboratory of Jack Lawler).

1994-2004 (held until 2002). Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Research, MRC-LMCB, University College London. Affiliated with Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London.

2002-2009. Dept of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic.

2009- School of Biochemistry, University of Bristol. 





Biochemistry Year 1:

Tutor for Biochemistry CC and CP and Biological Chemistry 1A and 1B

Introduction to Biothics and Bioethics Debates.

Biochemistry Year 2:

Lectures, Workshop and Practicals in Molecular Cell Biology Unit.

Biochemistry Year 3:

Lectures in Advanced Cell Biology

Supervisor for laboratory and literature research projects.

Year 1 Dentists:

Lectures on Epithelia and Cancer Biology.


Tutorial in Wellcome Trust Dynamic Cell Biology Ph.D. Programme on Cell-Cell and Cell-Extracellular Matrix Interactions.


  • Cell-matrix adhesion processes Intracellular signaling Actin cytoskeleton



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