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WE are


We are a research lab at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia. Our aim is to better understand how unwanted and aberrant proteins are eliminated from the cell.

Accumulation of aberrant misfolded proteins lead to their aggregation in the cell and has been link to numerous neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. 

We like ubiquitin, the proteasome, protein mass spectrometry, yeast genetics, mammalian tissue culture cells and many other ways to investigate protein quality control.

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Our work spans a variety of topics & technics

















Project Part 2

Prospective students

There will an opening for 2 PhD positions in 2024. Prospective students should contact Dr. Thibault Mayor by email with their CV and consult the websites of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of the Genome Science and Technology Program.

There are typically between 1-3 ongoing undergraduate projects at any given time (summer projects, 448/449 directed studies, work-studies or co-op projects). For inquiries, interested students should directly contact Dr. Thibault Mayor by email with their CV and a copy of their transcripts (unofficial).

Project Overview

A first priority in our lab is to continue our work in recombinant protein production using microbial cell factories. Our goal is to develop and optimize yeast host cell for heterologous protein production and better understand some of the bottlenecks associated to protein homeostasis in cell factories. For these biotechnology projects, the ideal candidate should have some expertise in molecular biology, yeast genetics, enzyme kinetics and/or microbiology. For more information read our first manuscript: 

A second priority in our lab is to decipher client repertoire of co-chaperones associated to protein aggregation, as well as identify elements of the protein homeostasis network that target cytosolic misfolded proteins for degradation. A major approach used in these projects is protein mass spectrometry, especially BioID proximity labeling. The work is mostly done in mammalian tissue culture cells and relies on diverse standard techniques (e.g., molecular biology, transfection & lentiviruses, CRISPR/CAS9, fluorescent microscopy, and flow cytometry).

Our third priority is to look at changes of the protein homeostasis network upon aging. For this project, candidates should have some experience in bioinformatics, biochemistry, proteomics and/or handling mice. For more information read out latest manuscripts in this area: Note that we will only hire a new trainees in this area if we can secure additional funds for this project. 






Pulse labeling reveals the tail end of protein folding by proteome profiling.
Mang Z, Kuechler ER, Wong RWK, Calabrese G, Sitarik IM, Rana V, Stoynov N, O'Brien EP, Gsponer J, Mayor T.

Cell Reports. (2022) 40(3):111096

Protein interaction networks in neurodegenerative diseases: from physiological function to aggregation.
Calabrese G, Molzahn C, Mayor T.

J. Chem. Biol. (2022) 298:102062

GraPES: The Granule Protein Enrichment Server for prediction of biological condensate constituents.
Kuechler ER, Jacobson M, Mayor T, Gsponer J.

Nucleic Acids Res. (2022) 50(W1):W384-W391



Protein feature analysis of heat shock induced ubiquitination sites reveals preferential modification site localization

Kuechler ER, Rose A, Bolten M, ....  Mayor T. 

J Proteomics. (2021) 239:104182

Proteomic analysis reveals the direct recruitment of intrinsically disordered regions to stress granules in S. cerevisiae.

Zhu M, Kuechler ER, Zhang J, ... Gsponer J, Mayor T. 

J Cell Sci. (2020) 133(13):jcs244657


Distinct Features of Stress Granule Proteins Predict Localization in Membraneless Organelles.

Kuechler ER, Budzyńska PM, Bernardini JP, Gsponer J, Mayor T. 

J Mol Biol. (2020) 432(7):2349-2368


A Method to Monitor Protein Turnover by Flow Cytometry and to Screen for Factors that Control Degradation by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting.
Comyn SA, Mayor T.

Methods Mol Biol. (2018) ;1844:137-153

Recurrent background mutations in WHI2 impair proteostasis and degradation of misfolded cytosolic proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Comyn SA, Flibotte S, Mayor T.

Sci Rep. (2017) 23;7(1):4183.



A feature analysis of lower solubility proteins in three eukaryotic systems.
Albu RF, Chan GT, Zhu M, Wong ET, Taghizadeh F, Hu X, Mehran AE, Johnson JD, Gsponer J, Mayor T. 

Journal of Proteomics (2015) 118:21-38.

Rsp5/Nedd4 is the main ubiquitin ligase that targets cytosolic misfolded proteins following heat stress.
Fang NN, Chan GT, Zhu M, Comyn SA, Persaud A, Deshaies RJ, Rotin D, Gsponer J, Mayor T. 

Nature Cell Biology (2014) 16(12):1227-37

Deubiquitinase activity is required for the proteasomal degradation of misfolded cytosolic proteins upon heat-stress.
Fang NN, Zhu M, Rose A, Wu KP, Mayor T. 

Nature Communications (2016) 7:12907

Prefoldin Promotes Proteasomal Degradation of Cytosolic Proteins with Missense Mutations by Maintaining Substrate Solubility.
Comyn SA, Young BP, Loewen CJ, Mayor T. 

PLoS Genetics (2016) 12(7):e1006184



Hul5 HECT ubiquitin ligase plays a major role in the ubiquitylation and turnover of cytosolic misfolded proteins.
Fang NN, Ng AH, Measday V, Mayor T. 

Nature Cell Biology (2011) 13(11):1344-52


The Diversity of Ubiquitin Recognition: Hot Spots and Varied Specificity.
Winget JM and Mayor T. 

Molecular Cell (2010) 38: 627-635

System-Wide Analysis Reveals Intrinsically Disordered Proteins are Prone to Ubiquitylation after Misfolding Stress.
Ng AH, Fang NN, Comyn SA, Gsponer J, Mayor T. 

Mol. Cell. Proteomics (2013) 12(9):2456-67


The Yeast Ubr1 Ubiquitin Ligase Participates in a Prominent Pathway That Targets Cytosolic Thermosensitive Mutants for Degradation.
Khosrow-Khavar F, Fang NN, Ng AH, Winget JM, Comyn SA, Mayor T. 

G3 (2012) 2:619-628




The people who made the Mayor lab throughout the years.

Thank you.

  • Gaetano Calabrese | Tanio, Postdoc (2023)

  • Marcel Bolten, Postdoc (2023)

  • Erich Kuechler, Postdoc (2023)

  • Garrett Strawn, M.Sc. (2022)

  • Mang Zhu, Ph.D. (2022)


04 Alumni


05 NEWS!

  • May 2023 - Welcome to Liz (lab manager), Dara (NSERC-USRA) and Sofia (worklearn)
  • April 2023 - Congratulation to Heather for her CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • Jan 2023 - Congratulations to Erich for her new position at AbCellera. You will be missed!
  • September 2022 - Welcome (again) to Shriya who is now a BMB graduate student
  • Summer 2022 - Congrats to Mang for his Cell Reports paper
  • May 2022 - Welcome to Virginia (work-learn) and Hailey (NSERC-USRA)
  • Spring 2022 - Congrats to Shriya for her GSAT summer scholarship & MSL entrance scholarship 
  • Jan 2022 - Welcome to Rowel (work-learn) and Vanessa (CHEM 445 RLE)
  • Oct 2021 - Welcome to Aastha (BMB graduate student) 
  • Sep 2021 - Welcome to Karl (449) & Omar (work-learn)
  • June 2021 - Talk from Erich at the CSMB meeting
  • May 2021 - Welcome to Shriya (co-op & 448 directed studies) and Tiffany (work-learn)
  • March 2021 - Talk from Cristen at the US-HUPO meeting 
  • Nov 2020 - Welcome to Tanio who just completed a 2 week quarantine and congratulations for Tanio's DFG and MSFHR Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Oct 2020 - Congratulations to Paulina for her new position at AbCellera. We are sad to see you go!
  • Oct 2020 - Great talk from Cristen at our MSL Seminar Series
  • Sep 2020 - Welcome to Garrett our new BMB graduate student and Devina our new work learn student.
  • June 2020 - Congrats to Heather for her one year BC Graduate Student Scholarship
  • May - Welcome to Claire Grall (NSERC-USRA) and Irina Zemlyankina (International work learn)
  • March 2020 - Lab shutting down 
  • February 2020 - Excellent Presentation from Erich in our monthly BMB presentations
  • Sep 2019 - Welcome to John (directed studies), Marissa (work-learn), Lucy (research assistant), our new or returning undergraduate students and Heather (biochemistry graduate student)
  • Aug 2019 - Congrats to Cristen for her 4 year scholarship
  • Aug 2019 - We say good bye to Angel who is starting his graduate studies in Stanford
  • June 2019 - Great Lightning Presentation from Mang at the GRC on stress response in Lucca (Italy)
  • June 2019 - Welcome to Jon who joined us as postdoc 
  • May 2019 - Congrats to Ryan for his NSERC MSc scholarship 
  • May 2019 - Welcome to Thea (work-learn), Coco (CS-research assistant), Loulou (NSERC USRA) & Kara (coop) our new summer undergraduate students
  • Feb 2019 - Lab snow day activity!  
  • Feb 2019 - Welcome to Paulina who joins us as a postdoc and Sigrid Juselius Foundation fellow

  • Sep 2018 - Mang's presentation at the MSL seminar series 

  • Sep 2018 - Welcome to Ryan (biochemistry graduate student), Jeremy (BIOC448) and Angel (Research Assistant) for joining the lab

  • Aug 2018 - Congratulation to Veronika for her new position at the Genome Science Center (we are sad to see you go!)

  • Aug 2018 - Lab retreat on Gambier Island

  • Spring 2018 - Our lab was awarded a new CIHR grant project!!

  • May 2018 - Congrats to Joyce who just graduated. We wish her good luck with her Master in September 2018 

  • May 2018 - Lab busy organizing the 10th CNPN (Canadian National Proteomics Network) symposium with the Lange lab  

  • May 2018 - welcome to Janet (coop), Jeremy (work learn), Jessica (NSEC USRA) and Lucy (coop); our new summer students!  

  • July 2017 - Poster presentation by Mang at the GRC on stress proteins meeting in Sunday River

  • Aug 2017 - Welcome to Cristen who just joined our Biochemistry Graduate Program

  • Aug 2017 - Lab retreat with the Tokuriki lab on Galiano Island

  • Sep 2017 - Welcome to Veronika our new Research Associate and Alice our new Work learn student

  • Nov 2017- Mang's presentation at our monthly department symposium