13 November 2023

Richard hits podcast stardom!

This week's episode of the ground-breaking University of Leeds podcast series 'How to Fix...?' features Prof Richard Bayliss alongside Dr David Sebag-Montefiore (Professor of Clinical Oncology, Director of the Leeds Cancer Research Centre) and Dr Pietro Valdastri (Professor and Chair in Robotics & Autonomous Systems).

This episode explores what action the University of Leeds is taking to beat cancer. The three amigos discuss issues such as: 
How do we address this–can we make detection faster? What innovative treatments are being developed to eradicate the disease? And how can research unlock these answers?

All seven episodes of the 'How to Fix...?' series are available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
September 2023

Dynamic Interactions: fostering collaboration

Twenty-four members of the Zeqiraj, Ochi and Bayliss groups took part in a joint away day at Devonshire Hall in Headingley on 22nd September.   
The programme featured presentations in a variety of formats from team leaders, postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers and technicians.  The talks were focussed on our common research interests in molecular structure, protein dynamics, cell signalling relevant to auto-immune diseases, developmental diseases and cancer. A core theme was our innovative approaches to drug discovery that exploit our knowledge of protein structure and dynamics such as molecular glues and protein-protein interaction inhibitors. 

Alongside this, Research Technician Jordan Liburd provided a summary of our current efforts to recycle and reuse reagents and consumables, and discussed best practices for doing research in an environmentally sustainable way.
The teams also played a game of “Technique Bingo” to encourage inter-group collaboration, share knowledge on different research techniques, and shine a spotlight on our varied expertise across the teams.
To round off the day, Kate Ashman, the faculty communications manager, led a lively discussion around ideas for communicating our science to different audiences.  
Special thanks go to Fran Chandler and Eoin Leen for organising the event, and to the staff at Devonshire Hall for looking after us. 
8 September 2023

Congratulations to PhD Student Nan Zhang for winning the first poster prize at the 8th Warsaw Conference on Perspectives of Molecular Oncology!
August 2023

The Bayliss lab had many visitors over the summer.

Prof Mariko Okada (Director, Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University) delivered a fascinating seminar to the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Richard, Josephina and Nan took her to visit Harrogate and RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.

We also had a number of students visiting the lab to gain research experience. Jonny Hunt, an undergraduate from the University of Bristol, joined the lab for a very successful 6-week cell biology research project funded by the Biochemical Society. Several 6th formers spent a week with the Bayliss group to learn about the protein crystallography and biochemical techniques that we use in our lab: Daniel Brown (Harrogate Grammar School), Ibrar Mahmood (Abbey Grange School) and Suhayb Ali (Elliott Hudson College). 
April 2023

Josephina and Richard went to Seoul, Korea for the last week of March. We visited Jene Choi, our long-term collaborator at the Asan Medical Center, to plan the next phase of our lung cancer project. We also met up with the leadership team of AMC Sciences, an exciting new initiative in drug discovery, and gave talks at the top research institute KIST. 

A day trip to the nearby city of Chuncheon was another highlight -  we met up with a University of Leeds alumnus Prof. Myeong-Hyeon Wang, talked about biopharmaceuticals and discovered the local delicacy Dak-galbi. The cherry was in full blossom everywhere we went!
March 2023

In early March, Matt and Richard travelled to the USA along with our SPiDR colleagues Andy Wilson and Martin Walko. We visited the groups of Eileen Kennedy and Kannan Natarajan at the University of Georgia in Athens to discuss collaborations and explore new approaches in computational and chemical biology. 

Athens is a beautiful place to visit and is exceptional for its science, food, music and of course college football. Thanks to everyone who looked after us for sharing their time and expertise!
7 May 2022

The Bayliss lab participated in the University’s annual research open event BeCurious 2022 which aims to showcase the world-changing research here at Leeds to the public.

BeCurious 2022 Lucky I.D.P. stand

Our stand Lucky I.D.P. explained how intrinsically disordered proteins act like a sort of selective “molecular velcro” to recruit partner proteins to particular locations in the cell where they are needed to carry out their functions in a regulated way. The main attraction was our "cellular pond" ball pool filled with a mixture of "protein" balls, in which participants could fish for "interacting proteins" using velcro "I.D.P." fishing lines. This was extremely popular especially with the younger visitors and we received lots of positive feedback!
7 February 2022

We hit a milestone last week - papers #100 and #101 were published!

We rarely publish only our own work these days. These two papers are the result of members of each group making major contributions individually and coming together to analyse and interpret the data.  Everyone was so open and collaborative in these projects, it was a pleasure to work together.

Kudos to the last authors of these papers, Claire Eyers (University of Liverpool) and Jene Choi (Asan Medical Centre), for being driving forces in the projects. Thanks too to the other PIs involved, Patrick Eyers (University of Liverpool) and Andrew Fry (University of Leicester). We enjoy working with you all and look forward to many more papers together in the future.

Thank you to Bayliss lab authors on these papers, Matt Batchelor and Josephina Sampson. They are outstanding postdocs who brought new expertise to the group, and share their time and skills generously with others. The group is really thriving thanks to all who make it a team. Their expertise in NMR, molecular simulation and cell biology has enabled our lab’s science to grow in new directions. This, on top of collaboration with other groups, allows us to address different kinds of questions, as exemplified by these two very different papers.

One paper used a combined structural mass spec and computational modelling strategy to probe how ligands affect the conformation of Aurora-A kinase and how ligands affect it. We found a high proportion of the protein adopts an open conformation and we need to rethink some of our models of the kinase, regulation etc. We are now taking on the challenge of the awful, joyous complexity of protein conformations & dynamics in other projects too. DOI: 10.1021/jasms.1c00271 

The other paper used cell biological approaches such as viability assays and imaging to explore drug combinations in EML4-ALK lung cancer cells. We found that one common EML4-ALK variant is more resistant to a common cancer drug, whereas a second variant is sensitive. We hope this work can be developed towards finding rational combinations of treatments tailored to patients. DOI: 10.3390/cancers14030779 

Finally… 100 papers took almost 25 years from start of PI’s PhD (1997) - so look out for another extended update and thread in another quarter-century!