Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor Nick Europe-Finner

Prof of Cell Signalling

Background

Roles and Responsibilities

Member of the School of Surgical and Reproductive Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Postgraduate Committee (1999-2010)

Assessor of MD and PhD students in the School of Surgical & Reproductive Sciences and the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University (2004-present)

Qualifications

1972-1975 B.Sc (First Class Honours) in Biochemistry, London University, Chelsea College.

1976-1979 Ph.D in Biochemistry, London University, St. George's Hospital Medical School

Previous Positions

1980-1981 MRC Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Department of Physiology, King's college, London University.

1982-1991 SERC Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.

1991-1996 Action Research Grant Holder : Nuffield Deparment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford.

1996-2001 Non-clinical Lecturer (B): Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, School of Surgical & Reproductive Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

2002-2006. Reader in Myometrial Sciences. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. School of Surgical and Reproductive Sciences. University of Newcastle upon Tyne.


Memberships

Member of the American Endocrine Society (USA) 2006-2009.

Member of FASEB (USA).

Member of the MRC (UK) Advisory Board (MAB): 1 July 2004 -30 June 2008.


Honours and Awards

Admitted to membership of Congregation at Oxford University with M.A. status (1988-1996).

Awarded a discretionary merit award from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (1990).

Promoted to RAIIA grade by the University of Oxford (1992).

Visiting Fellowship to the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. November 2011.

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB). December 2011.

 

Research

 Research Expertise

i) Control of expression of the Galphas gene in the myometrium by PKA mediated phosphorylation of the Sp1-4 transcription factor family.

ii) Regulation of expression of myometrial Galphas and CREM alternative spliced isoforms by the splicing factors SF2/ASF and hnRNPA1

iii) Characterisation and functional analysis of CREB, CREM and ATF1-4 species in the human myometrium during fetal maturation.

iv) Regulation of human myometrial gene expression by cyclic AMP dependent bZIP transcription factors.

v) Elucidation of the transcriptional co-regulators that interact with bZIP proteins to regulate myometrial gene expression

vi) Characterisation and expression of protein kinase A holoenzymes in the human myometrium during pregnancy and labour.

vii) Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the regulatory RIIalpha subunit of PKA in myometrial cells

viii) The role of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and HDAC inhibitors in maintaining myometrial quiescence:Potential use of HDAC inhibitors such as TSA, VPA and SAHA as potent tocolytics in preventing premature delivery

Current Work

1) Defining the myometrial acetylome

2) The role of CPP-Hsp20 analogues as novel smooth muscle tocolytics

Research Roles 1996-present

Group Leader for 7 Post-doctoral RAIIA/RAIA research Associates,Clinical Research Associate and 4 Grade D Research Technicians

Ph.D Supervisor

Dr. N.V. Small 1986-1989 .Oxford University

Dr. B.M. Gammon 1987-1990. Oxford University

Dr MWJ MacDougall: 2000-2003. University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Dr M Jefferson: 2005-2008. (with Prof AD Rowan). Institute of Cellular Medicine. University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Dr Tamar Moussed Mahmoud Abu-Amara. 2005-2009. Institute of Cellular Medicine University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Dr C MacDonald: 2009-2012. Ph.D student (with Prof AD Rowan). Institute of Cellular Medicine. University of Newcastle upon Tyne


Grant Referee

Referee for grant applications to the (MRC) Medical Research Council (UK)

Referee for grant applications to the (BBSRC) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK).

Referee for grant applications to the Wellcome Trust.

Referee for grant applications to Action Research

Referee for grant applications to Wellbeing

Referee for grant applications to Tommy’s the baby charity

Referee for grant applications to SPARKS

Referee for grant applications to the Henry Smith Charity

Referee for grant applications to FSIDS

Referee for grant applications to the National Science Foundation (USA).

Referee for grant applications to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Referee for grant applications to the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) (Canada)

Referee for grant applications to the NH-MRC (Australia)

Referee for grant applications to the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government

Referee for grant applications to the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research  


Journal Referee 

Referee for the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Referee for Endocrinology

Referee for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Referee for Acta Obstetrics and Gynaecology Scandinavia

Referee for Molecular Human Reproduction

Referee for Experimental Physiology

Referee for the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

Referee for the British Journal of Pharmacology

Referee for Reproduction

Referee for Trends in Endocrinology anad Metabolism

Referee for Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology

Referee for Reproductive Sciences

Referee for Trends in Biochemical Sciences

Referee for the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine  

Referee for PLOS one

Referee for Biology of Reproduction

Referee for Nature Communications 

Referee for Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology

Referee for Journal of Endocrinology

Referee for FASEB Journal  


Invited Lectures

International Dictyostelium Meeting, University of Southampton:1985.

International Dictyostelium Meeting, University of Amsterdam, Holland: 1986.

International Dictyostelium Meeting, University of Cambridge:1987.

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford: 1988

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford: 1989.

Department of Biological Sciences, Oxford Brookes University: 1994.

SPARKS-Charity Meeting, The Oxfordshire Golf Club, Oxford: 1995

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick: 1995.

MacDonald Club Meeting, University of Newcastle upon Tyne: 1998.

Uterine Contractility Symposium, University of Oxford: 2000

Tommy’s Campaign Researchers Meeting, University of London: 2000S

erono -Expert meeting-Recombinant hCG in preterm labour. Los Angeles USA: 2002

Society of Gynecologic Investigations-Myometrial Symposium. Los Angeles USA: 2002

Symposium: Scientific and clinical aspects of the management of premature labour: New Hall-University of Cambridge: 2002

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Leeds: 2003.

Action Research-North East Supporters Meeting-Newcastle upon Tyne: 2003

Action Research-Yorkshire Supporters Meeting-York: 2003

Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology (IRDB) - Imperial College Hammersmith Hospital Campus-University of London: 2004

NCBES-Symposium “Regulation of smooth muscle function in health and disease”- National University of Ireland at Galway: 2005.

BARTS ENDOCRINE CLUB- Department of Endocrinology-St. Bartholomew's Hospital-University of London: 2006

Action Medical Research-Yorkshire Supporters Meeting-York: 2006

SAFE network of excellence-2nd European workshop on preterm labour-Tarragona, Spain:2006

Molecular and Clinical Aspects of Gonadal and Nongonadal Actions of Gonadotropins, New Delhi, India 2008

Society of Gynecologic Investigations- Myometrial Symposium (Plenary Lecture). Miami USA. 2011.

Mothers and Babies Centre,University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. 2011.

Department of Obstsetrics and Gynaecology. University of Sheffield. 2012   


Honours

Fetal Medicine Foundation Prize for Obstetric Research (£5,000) with Dr MWJ MacDougall and Professor SC Robson (2002).

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (2011)


Funding

1) The control of human myometrial activity during gestation: a role for Galphas in term and pre-term labour. Action Research. With Dr A López Bernal 1994-1996 (S/P/2576) = £121,936

2) Regulation of Galphas protein isoform expression in human myometrium.Tommy’s Campaign. Principal Investigator. 1998-2000 (Grant No.27) = £71,093

3) Myometrial gene expression during human pregnancy: a cyclic AMP mediated process.The Wellcome Trust. Principal Investigator. 1998-2001 (053563) = £200,661

4) Regulation of Galphas and connexin-43 gene expression in the human myometrium: a role for the Sp transcription factor family.The Wellcome Trust. Principal Investigator. 2000-2001 (058020) = £80,792

5) Control of alternative precursor mRNA splicing of Galphas in human myometrium during pregnancy and labour. Action Research. Principal Investigator. 1998-2001 (S/P/3232) = £117,734

6) Regulation of human myometrial gene expression by cyclic AMP related bZIP transcription factors.The Wellcome Trust. Principal Investigator. 2001-2004 (062928) = £221,674

7) The expression of protein kinase A holoenzymes in human myometrium during pregnancy and labour. Action Research. Principal Investigator. 2001-2003 (S/P/3689) = £93,569

8) Expression of the CREM gene in the human myometrium: regulation by alternative pre-mRNA splicing. The Wellcome Trust. Principal Investigator. 2002-2005 (066148) = £166,621

9) Regulation of hCG/LH receptor gene expression in the human myometrium during pregnancy and labour. Action Research. Principal Investigator. 2002-2004 (S/P/3766) = £85,412

10) Regulation of the protein kinase A regulatory subunit RIIalpha gene in the human myometrium during pregnancy and labour. Action Medical Research. Principal Investigator. 2004-2007 (S/P/3972) = £142,083

11) Uterine receptivity-the regulation of expression of histone deacetylase (HDAC)/DNA methyl transferase sensitive genes involved in myometrial quiescence during fetal maturation. Ph.D studentship for Mr Tamar Moussed Mahmoud Abou-Amara., Cultural Counsel of the Arab Republic of Egypt = £48,600

12)The role of histone deacetylases in regulating human myometrial activity during gestation. Society of Reproduction and Fertility.With Professor Alison Murdoch-Summer Vacation Scholarship for Mr Jamie Oughton 2007 = £1400

13)Understanding how NF-kB regulates expression and repression of the Gas GTP-binding protein in the myometrium. MRC(UK) with Dr NR Chapman (PI-Sheffield University), Dr DOC Anumba (Sheffield University) and Dr R Khan (Nottingham University) 2008-2011 (G0701322) = £447,201

14) Novel regulation of human myometrial contractility by histone deacetylase 8 (HDAC8): the use of specific inhibitors as tocolytics. MRC (UK) Principal Investigator with Prof MJ Taggart, Dr M Karolczak-Bayatti and Prof SC Robson. 2008-2011 (G0800202) = £460,768

15) Validation of the guinea-pig as an appropriate model for human labour: HDAC inhibitors as tocolytics for preterm labour. MRC (UK) Principal Investigator with Prof MJ Taggart, Dr NR Chapman (Sheffield), Prof BR Mitchell (Alberta, Canada) 2010-2012 (G0900525) = £228,024

16) The novel regulation of blood vessel contractility by protein acetylation: the role of HDAC8. BHF with Prof MJ Taggart (PI)2010-2013 (PG/09/075) = £175,499

17) Acetylated Hsp20 peptides as novel tocolytics for preterm labour. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Flexibility and Sustainability Funding Principal Investigator. 2012-2013 = £45,121

18) Regulation of acetylation of Hsp20 by lysine acetylases (KATs) in the human myometrium. Society of Biology Summer Vacation Scholarship for Mr Steven Marcos 2012 = £1080  

19) Understanding the regulation of hERG potassium channel in the myometrium at the time of labour.  With Professor Roger Smith, Principle Investigator (University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia) NH-MRC (Australia). 2012-2015 (APP1050584 ) = $577,955 (AUS) = £371,641

20) Investigating the human myometrial acetylome and identifying potential new targets for treating preterm labour. Principal Investigator with Professor Michael J Taggart., Dr Achim Treumann, Dr Magdalena Karolczak-Bayatti and Professor SC Robson. MRC (UK) (MR/L0009560/1). 2014-2018 = £728,679

21) Investigating heat shock protein 20 (Hsp20) as a viable drug target for altering uterine function. Principal Investigator with Professor Michael J Taggart., Dr Achim Treumann, Dr Magdalena Karolczak-Bayatti (Manchester University) ,Professor SC Robson and Dr A Jones (Cardiff University). Action Medical Research, 2014-2017  (GN2217) = £183,04

22)  Identification of the mechanism(s) of action of the pseudo-kinase Tribbles-3 on matrix metalloproteinase-13 expression and cartilage breakdown. With Professor AD Rowan (PI). The JGW Patterson Foundation 2017-2018 (BH163611) = £50,949

Keywords

Human parturition, Myometrium, Gene Expression, Alternative Splicing, SAGE, SSH, Microarrays.

Teaching


B.Sc (Hons)-Lectures in Reproductive and Developmental Physiology PSC2015

M.Res.-Lectures in Cell Cycle Control and Cell Signalling Pathways in Health and Disease PGY8003

M.Res. Lectures/ Work-shop/Oral presentations in Cardiovascular Disease MMB8037

Publications