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.



Our work spans a variety of topics & technics


















Prospective students

There will an opening for 1-2 PhD positions starting Sep 2020. 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 1-2 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

There is a variety of projects available such as:

- Characterization of the role of ubiquitination in the heat stress response;

- Identification of novel quality control degradation pathways in mammalian cells;

- Characterize how the proteome is affected upon aging and in stress conditions;

- Develop novel proteomic approaches to probe protein homeostasis;

- Modify protein homeostasis for biotechnology applications.






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.

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


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


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


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

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



  • 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



Principal Investigator

Thibault is confined to his office and has no longer his own lab project. When not at work, he likes cooking and spending time with his family

Gaetano Calabrese


​Tanio is looking at how some co-chaperones recognize their client proteins to prevent their aggregation using mass spectrometry approaches

Marcel Bolten


Marcel is using in vitro approaches to look at Rsp5 and Nedd4 E3s to better understand how substrates are recognized by these ubiquitin ligases

Erich Kuechler


Erich is using different computational approach to better understand properties shared by proteins in large macro assemblies such as stress granules

Undergraduate Students

They are killing it!

Marissa Foo (coop student)

Devina Grisella (Work learn)

Irina Zemlyankina (Honours Student)

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Heather Baker

​Graduate Student

Heather's project is to characterize quality control pathways that target cytosolic misfolded proteins for proteasome degradation.

Cristen Molzahn

Graduate Research Associate

Cristen is looking at how aging affects proteostasis using different proteomic approaches

Garrett Strawn

​Graduate Student

Garrett is screening yeast mutant strains to identify variants that allow higher expression and secretion of recombinant proteins  

Ryan Wong

Graduate Research Associate

Ryan is establishing methods to modify yeast host cells for protein expression using experimental evolution and cell screenings.

Mang Zhu

Graduate Research Associate

Mang is looking at the formation of heat stress granules using proteomics and cell biology approaches

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Our mailing address is:

Mayor Lab 

University of British Columbia

2125 East Mall

Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4



Tel: 1-604-822-5144

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