Sherif El-Khamisy

Professor (FRSC FRSB; Chair of Molecular Medicine; Director of Research and Innovation; Wellcome Trust Investigator) – Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Professor Sherif El-Khamisy started off in community and clinical pharmacy in Egypt but the repetitive and unchallenging nature of the work left him seeking more. He completed a Business Administration diploma at the same time as a Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences before securing a PhD position in Sussex, attracted by better research funding and facilities to be found abroad. This was self-funded at first, but he soon acquired a scholarship with the help of an encouraging supervisor. After a failed attempt at setting up a research group back in Egypt, he went to the US to improve his research profile and make himself more competitive for fellowship positions. He brought back the training on mouse models of human disorders he had acquired there to the Genome Centre at Sussex, where the Director was supportive and made sure he was separated from his PhD supervisor. In 2012, he successfully established a Genome Centre in Egypt in partnership with a Nobel laureate to give something back to his country and, for himself, he gained huge experience in managing infrastructure and people. After his fellowship, he was drawn to the welcoming and nurturing research environment at Sheffield, where he took up his current role in 2013.

Click here for full staff profile, including research interests, teaching commitments and publications list.

The key step in academia is to choose a place where the environment is supportive, where you can actually talk to people and exchange ideas.

Career Timeline

1997

Pharm BSc from Pharmacy College, Cairo University

1997–2002

Assistant Lecturer at Ain Shams Pharmacy College

2000

MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Ain Shams Pharmacy College

2002

Diploma in Business Administration from American University in Cairo

2002

Awarded Overseas Research Scholarship

2003

Awarded Lorne Duncan Award

2003

First author paper

El-Khamisy SF, Masutani M, Suzuki H & Caldecott KW (2003) A requirement for PARP-1 for the assembly or stability of XRCC1 nuclear foci at sites of oxidative DNA damage.. Nucleic Acids Res, 31(19), 5526-5533.

2004

Awarded SIR Richard Stapley Award

2004

Second author paper

Loizou JI, El-Khamisy SF, Zlatanou A, Moore DJ, Chan DW, Qin J, Sarno S, Meggio F, Pinna LA & Caldecott KW (2004) The protein kinase CK2 facilitates repair of chromosomal DNA single-strand breaks.. Cell, 117(1), 17-28.

2004

Awarded Young Investigator Biochemical Society Award

2005

PhD in Biochemistry from University of Sussex

2005

First author paper

El-Khamisy SF, Saifi GM, Weinfeld M, Johansson F, Helleday T, Lupski JR & Caldecott KW (2005) Defective DNA single-strand break repair in spinocerebellar ataxia with axonal neuropathy-1. NATURE, 434(7029), 108-113.

2006

Post Doctoral Fellow at St Jude Hospital, USA

2006

Other author paper

Ahel I, Rass U, El-Khamisy SF, Katyal S, Clements PM, McKinnon PJ, Caldecott KW & West SC (2006) The neurodegenerative disease protein aprataxin resolves abortive DNA ligation intermediates.. Nature, 443(7112), 713-716.

2006

MRC Post Doctoral Fellow at University of Sussex

2007

Second author paper

Katyal S, el-Khamisy SF, Russell HR, Li Y, Ju L, Caldecott KW & McKinnon PJ (2007) TDP1 facilitates chromosomal single-strand break repair in neurons and is neuroprotective in vivo.. EMBO J, 26(22), 4720-4731.

2008

Wellcome Trust Career Dev. Fellow at University of Sussex

2009

Ataxia UK Project Grant £77,520

2009

Second author paper

Cortes Ledesma F, El Khamisy SF, Zuma MC, Osborn K & Caldecott KW (2009) A human 5′-tyrosyl DNA phosphodiesterase that repairs topoisomerase-mediated DNA damage.. Nature, 461(7264), 674-678.

2010

Wellcome Trust Project Grant £232,000

2011

MSc and PhD supervisor

2011

First author paper

El-Khamisy SF (2011) To live or to die: a matter of processing damaged DNA termini in neurons.. EMBO Mol Med, 3(2), 78-88.

2011

Invited Lecturer at the Institute for Ageing and Health

2011

Gordon Conference on Genetic toxicology, Italy

2012

Founder & Director of the Genome Center at Zewail City of Science, Egypt

2012

Grant for CRUK Drug Discovery £260,000

2012

Last author paper

Hudson JJR, Chiang S-C, Wells OS, Rookyard C & El-Khamisy SF (2012) SUMO modification of the neuroprotective protein TDP1 facilitates chromosomal single-strand break repair.. Nat Commun, 3, 733.

2012

The Genome stability in neuroscience conference, Norway

2013

Reader of Genome Stability at the University of Sheffield

2013

Chair at the Genome Stability Network Meeting, UK

2013

Co-organiser & speaker at the Ataxia Telangiectasia Conference, UK

2013

Last author paper

Alagoz M, Wells OS & El-Khamisy SF (2014) TDP1 deficiency sensitizes human cells to base damage via distinct topoisomerase I and PARP mechanisms with potential applications for cancer therapy. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(5), 3089-3103.

2013

Level 2 (Genetics 2) and Level 3 (Genome Stability and Genetic Change) module teaching

2014

Plenary lecture at the opening ceremony of BIOCHEM 2014, Egypt

2014

The 4th World Congress on Cancer Science & Therapy, USA

2014

Lister Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield

2015

Last author paper

Ashour ME, Atteya R & El-Khamisy SF (2015) Topoisomerase-mediated chromosomal break repair: an emerging player in many games. Nature Reviews Cancer, 15(3), 137-151.

2015

Invited Lecture at the Medical School research series, UK

2015

Judge of the Medical School Annual Research Conference, University of Sheffield

2015

Wellcome Trust Annual Research Symposia, UK

2015

Wellcome Trust Investigator at the University of Sheffield (to 2020)

2015

Director of Research and Innovation at University of Sheffield

2015

Chair of Molecular Medicine at the University of Sheffield

2015–2016

EU/British Council Award £300,000

2016

Last author paper

Meisenberg C, Ashour ME, El-Shafie L, Liao C, Hodgson A, Pilborough A, Khurram SA, Downs JA, Ward SE & El-Khamisy SF (2016) Epigenetic changes in histone acetylation underpin resistance to the topoisomerase I inhibitor irinotecan.

2016

Press release

New discovery in understanding chemotherapy resistance could prevent cancer cells fighting back.

2017

Other author paper

Walker, C., Herranz-Martin, S., Karyka, E. et al. (19 more authors) (2017) C9orf72 Expansion Disrupts ATM-mediated Chromosomal Break Repair. Nature Neuroscience. ISSN 1097-6256

2017

Press release

New discovery in motor neurone disease and dementia could pave the way to novel treatments.

2018

Review

Elserafy M & El-Khamisy SF (2018) Choose your yeast strain carefully: the RAD5 gene matters. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 19(6), 343-344

2018

Press release

Recipe for the perfect balance of breaks and repairs in our genome could help fight cancer and brain ageing.

2018

Last author paper

Liao C, Beveridge R, Hudson JJR, Parker JD, Chiang S-C, Ray S, Ashour ME, Sudbery I, Dickman MJ & El-Khamisy SF (2018) UCHL3 Regulates Topoisomerase-Induced Chromosomal Break Repair by Controlling TDP1 Proteostasis. Cell Reports, 23(11), 3352-3365.