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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Peter McCormick


Senior Lecturer

Centre: Endocrinology

Telephone: +44(0) 20 7882 7174


I have a degree in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, USA and a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M University, USA. In Texas I performed my graduate work in the lab of Arthur E. Johnson. We used a novel in vitro approach that incorporated a labeled lysyl-tRNA into a growing nascent polypeptide. This approach led to a seminal understanding that the pore through which all membrane proteins pass, plays an active role in membrane protein biogenesis. This work was followed by a study that was the first demonstration that transmembrane regions begin to form within the tunnel of the ribosome.

For my post-doctoral work I worked in the lab of Juan Bonifacino at the National Institutes of Health (USA). We answered a long standing question in the field of immunology about what path the MHC II molecules take to reach the antigen containing compartments. I then moved to the National Cancer Instiute where I began working on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important drug targets.    After I moved to the University of Barcelona where I started my independent career looking at how GPCRs interact.  In 2013 I relocated to the UK, starting at the University of East Anglia followed by the University of Surrey prior to moving to the William Harvey Research Institute in 2018.

When I took over my own lab I began studying the phenomenon of heterodimerization between families of GPCRs.   Heterodimers between GPCRs is a phenomenon discovered in the last decade.  However, the molecular details of how this occurs and specific examples in biology of where and how heterodimers function is sparse. My work in this area has been published in PNAS, JBC, Journal of Neuroscience, PLoS Biology and Molecular Psychiatry.  My lab continues to work on GPCRs including, dimerization, allosteric interactions, and their role in a variety of pathologies with an eye for new opportunities for drug therapy.



Group members

Dr Joaquin Botta (Postdoctoral Researcher), Amandeep Gill (PhD student), Vidicha Chunillal (PhD student), George Chaloub (PhD student), Zara Farooq (PhD student), Elena Tomas Bort (PhD student), Nicholas Roth (PhD student).


Dr. Julia Appelhans (Ximbio), Dr. Mar Puigdellivol (University of Cambridge), Dr. Lucka Bibic (Science Writer), Dr. David Moreno (UCB),Dr. Gemma Navarro (University of Barcelona), Dr. Estefania Moreno (University of Barcelona), Dr. Marc Brugarolas (Covance), Dr. Lucia Callen (Science Communications).


  • G-protein coupled Receptors
  • Cell Signalling
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Molecular Pharmacology


Internal: Prof. Marta Korbonits, Dr. Li Chan, Dr. Helen StorrProf. Adrian Hobbs (WHRI), Dr. Richard Gross (BCI)

External: Prof. Nicholas Locker (Surrey), Prof. Manuel Guzman (Madrid, UCM), Prof. Steve Finkbeiner (San Francisco, USF), Dr. Alessandra Contino (U. of Bari), Dmitry Vesprintev (U. of Nottingham), Prof. Steve Charlton (U. of Nottingham), Dr. Kim Jonas (KCL).  GSK, Excellerate Bio, Roche, and Neurolixis.