Dr Mercedes Pardo Calvo

Senior Staff Scientist


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

Mercedes is interested in understanding protein function and regulation through the study of protein interactions. Her research focuses on the characterisation of protein complexes in different systems, from mouse embryonic stem cells to the malaria parasite, using biochemical techniques.

The majority of proteins do not work in isolation. Instead they organise in stable multiprotein assemblies or engage in dynamic interactions with other proteins in order to perform their roles. Understanding proteins interactions is therefore crucial for elucidating protein function and regulation.

I use affinity purification in combination with mass spectrometry to characterise multiprotein complexes and protein-protein interactions. In collaboration with the Skarnes and Bradley labs I developed the endogenous tandem affinity purification technology in mouse embryonic stem cells. Much of my work using this strategy has focused on the study of chromatin-associated proteins important for embryonic stem cell biology and development. Another of my interests are enzymes that introduce post-translational modifications on proteins, especially those that are less well-known. More recently I have started using other complementary approaches to investigate protein complexes, mainly biochemical fractionation techniques such as blue native electrophoresis and size exclusion chromatography.

As part of my job I collaborate with several researchers here at the Sanger Institute and also in other research institutions in their quest to identify protein interactions. My role involves advising on experiment design, training on the experimental techniques, performing experiments, problem solving, and data analysis and biological interpretation.

I am also involved in training other scientists through the Wellcome Trust Advanced Courses. Here I teach a module comprising affinity purification and mass spectrometry in different contexts: Functional Genomics and Systems Biology, Protein Interactions and Networks, and Genome-wide Approaches with Fission Yeast (now discontinued).

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