Associate Professor Jonathan Oakhill

Research Unit

Metabolic signalling


Protein Chemistry and Metabolism Unit

Professional Experience

1998 BSc (Hons) Bath University, UK
2002 PhD Biochemistry, King’s College London, UK
2002-2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Biomedical and Health Science, King’s College
2006-Present Research Fellow, SVI
2014-17 ARC Future Fellow


Research Interests

My research aims to define mechanisms mediating energy-sensing by the master metabolic regulator AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key regulator of cellular and systemic energy homeostasis. The metabolic dimensions of diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer, have encouraged efforts to develop direct activating drugs for AMPK. Co-ordinating biochemical, crystallographic, mass spectrometry and cell-based projects running in the Kemp group, my research has provided significant breakthroughs in understanding the complex regulatory mechanisms that enable AMPK to perform its critical roles. These findings form the foundations to strategies aimed at developing novel therapeutics to treat diseases that impose enormous medical and economical burdens.

Selected Publications

  1. Scott JW, Ling NXY, Issa SMA, Dite TA, O’Brien MT, Chen ZP, Galic S, Langendorf CG, Steinberg GR, Kemp BE, and Oakhill JS.  Drugs and AMP unite to switch on naive AMPK. Chemistry and Biology.  2014, May 22;21(5):619-27
  2. Oakhill JS, Scott JW and Kemp BE (2012). AMPK functions as an adenylate charge-regulated protein kinase. Trends Endocrinol. Metab. 23, 125-132.
  3. Oakhill JS†, Steel R, Chen Z, Scott JW, Ling N, Tam S and Kemp BE (2011). AMPK is a direct adenylate charge regulated protein kinase. Science 332, 1433-1435.
  4. Oakhill JS, Chen Z, Scott JW, Steel R, Castelli L, Ling N, Macauley SL and Kemp, BE (2010). β-subunit myristoylation is the gatekeeper for initiating metabolic stress sensing by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 19237-19241.
  5. Scott JW, van Denderen BJ, Jorgensen SB, Honeyman JE, Steinberg GR, Oakhill JS, Iseli TJ, Koay A, Gooley PR, Stapleton D and Kemp BE (2008). Thienopyridone drugs are selective activators of AMP-activated protein kinase beta1-containing complexes. Chem. Biol. 15, 1220-1230.
  6. Shayeghi M, Latunde-Dada GO, Oakhill JS, Laftah AH, Takeuchi K, Halliday N, Khan Y, Warley A, McCann FE, Hider RC, Frazer DM, Anderson GJ, Vulpe CD, Simpson RJ and McKie AT (2005). Identification of an intestinal heme transporter. Cell 122, 789-801.