I studied for an undergraduate degree in Zoology at Aberystwyth University. I then worked in the industrial sector for a few years before completing a PGCE in secondary science at the University of Leeds. I taught for a number of years in inner-city schools within Leeds, Halifax, Wakefield and Wolverhampton; teaching biology and chemistry GCSE and A level to years 7 - 13. I enjoyed teaching science but I also wanted to be more involved in research so I completed a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Birmingham. I was a Wellcome fellow at Birmingham before joining Aston University working on G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and Aquaporins. I joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 and became Course Leader before leaving this Senior Lecturer role to join the University of Wolverhampton in January 2016.
My research focus is the biochemistry of membrane proteins, primarily two major families of membrane proteins; the aquaporin water channels and the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). This research requires the use of a diverse range of techniques from molecular biology, confocal microscopy and protein production to pharmacological analysis and biophysical assay. I supervise a number of PhD students’ research involving the study of the structure and function of aquaporin water channels as well as continued work on GPCRs. As these membrane proteins are found throughout the body and in fact in all organisms, my research is multidisciplinary allowing for collaboration, specifically my research has implications for the treatment of many diseases from brain oedema following head injury or stroke to cystic fibrosis
Philip Kitchen, Rebecca E. Day, Luke H. J. Taylor, Mootaz M. Salman, Roslyn M. Bill, Matthew T. Conner (corresponding author), Alex C. Conner. Identification and molecular mechanisms of the rapid tonicity-induced relocalization of aquaporin 4.
(2015) J Biol Chem.; doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.646034
Zariel I. Johnson, Shilpa S. Gogate, Rebecca Day, Abbie Binch, Dessislava Z. Markova, Neil Chiverton, Ashley Cole, Matt Conner, Irving M. Shapiro, Christine L. Le Maitre, Makarand V. Risbud. Aquaporin 1 and 5 expression decreases during human intervertebral disc degeneration: novel HIF-1-mediated regulation of aquaporins in NP cells.
(2015) Oncotarget.; Vol 6 (14): 11945-58.
Rebecca E Day; Philip Kitchen; David Owen; Charlotte E Bland; Lindsay J Marshall;
Alex C Conner; Roslyn M. Bill; Matthew Conner. Human aquaporins: regulators of transcellular water flow,
(2014) Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects.1840(5):492–1506.
Conner AC, Bill RM and Conner MT.
(2013) Mol Mem Biol. Feb; 30(1):101-12. Epub 2012 Nov 21
Conner MT, Conner AC, Bland CE, Taylor LH, Brown JE, Parri HR, Bill RM.
Rapid aquaporin translocation regulates cellular water flow: the mechanism of hypotonicity-induced sub-cellular localization of the aquaporin 1 water channel.
(2012) J Biol Chem.; 287 (14):11516-25
Wheatley M, Wootten D, Conner MT, Simms J, Kendrick R, Logan RT, Poyner DR and Barwell J. Lifting the lid on G-protein-coupled receptors: The role of the extracellular loops. (2012) Brit J Pharmacol. Mar;165(6):1688-703
Öberg F, Sjöhamn J, Conner MT, Bill RM and Hedfalk, K. Improving recombinant eukaryotic membrane protein yields in Pichia pastoris: the importance of codon optimisation and clone selection. (2011) Mol Membr Biol. 28(6):398-411.
Bawa Z, Bland CE, Bonander N, Bora N, Cartwright SP, Clare M, Conner MT, Darby RAJ, Dilworth MV, Holmes WJ, Jamshad M, Routledge SJ, Gross SR and Bill RM. Understanding the yeast host cell response to recombinant membrane protein production. (2011) Biochem Soc Trans, 39:719-23
Conner MT, Conner AC, Brown JEP and Bill RM. Membrane trafficking of aquaporin 1 is mediated by protein kinase C via microtubules and regulated by tonicity.
(2010) Biochemistry, 49: 821-3. (Featured on the front covers of the journal and the 50th Anniversary Edition)
Conner MT, Hicks MR, Dafforn T, Knowles TJ, Ludwig C, Staddon S, Overduin M, Günther UL, Thome J, Wheatley M, Poyner DR, Conner AC. Functional and biophysical analysis of the C-terminus of the CGRP-receptor; a family B GPCR.
(2008) Biochemistry; 47:8434-44.
Conner MT, Hawtin SR, Simms J, Wootten D, Lawson Z, Conner AC, Parslow RA and Wheatley M. Systematic analysis of the entire second extracellular loop of the V1a vasopressin receptor: key residues, conserved throughout a G-protein-coupled receptor family, identified. (2007) J Biol Chem, 282: 17405-12.
Hawtin SR, Simms J, Conner MT, Lawson Z, Parslow RA, Trim J, Sheppard A and Wheatley M. Charged extracellular residues, conserved throughout a G-protein-coupled receptor family, are required for ligand binding, receptor activation, and cell-surface expression. (2006) J Biol Chem, 281 (50): 38478-88.
Conner AC, Simms J, Conner MT, Wootten DL, Wheatley M and Poyner DR. Diverse functional motifs within the three intracellular loops of the CGRP1 receptor.
(2006) Biochemistry, 45:12976-85.
Wheatley M, Simms J, Hawtin SR, Wesley VJ, Wootten D, Conner MT, Lawson Z, Conner AC, Baker A, Cashmore Y, Kendrick R and Parslow RA. Extracellular loops and ligand binding to a subfamily of Family A G-protein-coupled receptors. (2004) Biochem Soc Trans, 32:843-46
Philip Kitchen, Matthew T. Conner, Roslyn M. Bill and Alex C. Conner (2016). Structural Determinants of Oligomerization of the Aquaporin-4 Channel. (2012) J Biol Chem.; 291 (13):6858-71
Kitchen P, Öberg F, Sjöhamn J, Hedfalk K, Bill RM, Conner AC, Matthew T. Conner (corresponding author), Sussan Tonroth-Horsefield. (2015) Plasma Membrane Abundance of Human Aquaporin 5 Is Dynamically Regulated by Multiple Pathways. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0143027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0143027
Examples of Recently Completed PhD Programmes
The Function and Structure of the Aquaporin Water Channels
Cerebral Aquaporins: Mechanisms of Pathology
Expression and Translocation of the Aquaporin Water Channels
Potential PhD Programmes
The Involvement of Aquaporin Water Channels in Brain Oedema after Traumatic Brain Injury or Stroke
Aquaporin Water Channels: Potential Cancer Markers and Drug Targets.
The Function and Structure of the Aquaporin Water Channels