Dr Gavin Wright

Gavin's research focuses on taking large-scale systematic approaches to identify novel receptor-ligand pairs that initiate intercellular signaling.

Gavin graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Biochemistry in 1996 before studying for a D.Phil. within the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cellular Immunology Unit with Professor Neil Barclay at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.

He initially worked on CD200 (formally OX2), a cell surface protein expressed in both the immune and nervous systems and discovered its receptor, which was found to be restricted to myeloid-lineage cells. Together with collaborators, Gavin's team showed that endogenous CD200 and also close homologues of this protein which had been captured by both pox and herpes viruses delivered restrictive signals to macrophages to locally suppress their activation. It is these studies that sparked his broad interests in cell surface receptor proteins and their role in cellular signaling and recognition processes. For his postdoc, Gavin worked with Dr Julian Lewis at Cancer Research UK, London where he studied the Notch signaling pathway, using the zebrafish model organism.

His research at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has focused on taking large-scale systematic approaches to identify novel receptor-ligand pairs that initiate intercellular signaling. In particular, Gavin is interested in the low affinity interactions that are a common feature of cell surface receptor interactions and has developed a new high throughput method to identify this type of binding event which cannot be easily detected using other scalable techniques. The laboratory has identified many novel receptor-ligand pairs and uses the experimental tractability of the zebrafish to determine the functional role of these interactions in vivo. Since cell surface receptors are good drug targets, Gavin's team are planning to apply their methods to more clinically-relevant applications and have recently started collaborative projects to study heart disease and malaria.

Selected Publications

  • A benchmarked protein microarray-based platform for the identification of novel low-affinity extracellular protein interactions.

    Sun Y, Gallagher-Jones M, Barker C and Wright GJ

    Analytical biochemistry 2012;424;1;45-53

  • Basigin is a receptor essential for erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum.

    Crosnier C, Bustamante LY, Bartholdson SJ, Bei AK, Theron M, Uchikawa M, Mboup S, Ndir O, Kwiatkowski DP, Duraisingh MT, Rayner JC and Wright GJ

    Nature 2011;480;7378;534-7

  • Jamb and jamc are essential for vertebrate myocyte fusion.

    Powell GT and Wright GJ

    PLoS biology 2011;9;12;e1001216

  • DeltaC and DeltaD interact as Notch ligands in the zebrafish segmentation clock.

    Wright GJ, Giudicelli F, Soza-Ried C, Hanisch A, Ariza-McNaughton L and Lewis J

    Development (Cambridge, England) 2011;138;14;2947-56

  • The blood-stage malaria antigen PfRH5 is susceptible to vaccine-inducible cross-strain neutralizing antibody.

    Douglas AD, Williams AR, Illingworth JJ, Kamuyu G, Biswas S, Goodman AL, Wyllie DH, Crosnier C, Miura K, Wright GJ, Long CA, Osier FH, Marsh K, Turner AV, Hill AV and Draper SJ

    Nature communications 2011;2;601

  • Construction of a large extracellular protein interaction network and its resolution by spatiotemporal expression profiling.

    Martin S, Söllner C, Charoensawan V, Adryan B, Thisse B, Thisse C, Teichmann S and Wright GJ

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2010;9;12;2654-65

  • A rapid and scalable method for selecting recombinant mouse monoclonal antibodies.

    Crosnier C, Staudt N and Wright GJ

    BMC biology 2010;8;76

  • Signal initiation in biological systems: the properties and detection of transient extracellular protein interactions.

    Wright GJ

    Molecular bioSystems 2009;5;12;1405-12

  • A cell surface interaction network of neural leucine-rich repeat receptors.

    Söllner C and Wright GJ

    Genome biology 2009;10;9;R99

  • Large-scale screening for novel low-affinity extracellular protein interactions.

    Bushell KM, Söllner C, Schuster-Boeckler B, Bateman A and Wright GJ

    Genome research 2008;18;4;622-30

  • Lymphoid/neuronal cell surface OX2 glycoprotein recognizes a novel receptor on macrophages implicated in the control of their function.

    Wright GJ, Puklavec MJ, Willis AC, Hoek RM, Sedgwick JD, Brown MH and Barclay AN

    Immunity 2000;13;2;233-42

[Wellcome Library, London]

Gavin's Project
Cell Surface Signalling Laboratory
Research Area
Malaria programme
Cell Surface Signalling Laboratory
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Cambridge CB10 1HH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1223 496852
Fax: +44 (0)1223 496802
* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/kqmadqmn