UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof Ivan Gout

Prof Ivan Gout

Professor of Cancer Biochemistry

Structural & Molecular Biology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2003

Research summary

My research has been focused for many years on the regulation of cell growth and metabolism in health and disease. In the course of these studies, we discovered several key signalling and metabolic enzymes, including S6K2, mTORb and CoA synthase. We have made significant contributions to understanding the role of these enzymes in signal transduction and the regulation of cellular metabolism.

Building on these findings, we have uncovered a novel post-translational modification, termed protein CoAlation, and antioxidant function of coenzyme A (CoA). Our studies have revealed that protein CoAlation is a widespread and reversible post-translational modification induced by oxidative or metabolic stress. It has been detected in single-cell and multicellular organisms, including bacteria, yeast, algae, amoeba, flies and mammals.

We have developed a range of new research tools and methodologies, which have been instrumental for uncovering protein CoAlation and antioxidant function of CoA. These include: a) unique anti-CoA mAbs which work efficiently in various immunological assays (anti-CoA antibody is not commercially available); b) in vitro protein CoAlation and deCoAlation assays; c) a reliable strategy for the identification of CoAlated proteins by LC-MS/MS. To date, using the developed methodology, we have identified more than 1000 CoA-modified proteins under various experimental conditions in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

These advances put us into a unique position of being able to readily detect protein CoAlation in cellular response to oxidative and metabolic stress, to identify CoAlated proteins, and to study molecular mechanisms underlying the CoAlation/deCoAlation cycle. 

The following projects are currently under study:

1. Investigating the molecular mechanisms of protein deCoAlation;

2. Defining the identity and function of eukaryotic CoA disulphide reductase;

3. Regulation of peroxiredoxins by covalent CoA modification in cellular response to oxidative or metabolic stress;

4. CoAlome analysis of bacterial spores;

5. Of particular interest is understanding the role of protein CoAlation and antioxidant function of CoA in human pathologies, associated with oxidative stress, such as cancer and neurodegeneration.

Our research is leading us towards exciting new ideas aimed at the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cancer and neurodegeneration, which we pursue.

Teaching summary

I am the Graduate Admission Tutor in the Department of Structural and Molecular Biology, and the Lead Tutor in Biotechnology for the MRes in Biosciences.

I am the course organizer for BIOC0030 (Advanced Molecular Biology of protein regulatory interactions), CPD Lecture and Practical course “Lab Techniques in Mammalian Cell Biology”.

I lecture and give tutorials on cellular metabolism, growth regulation and cell signalling to second and third year students on the following courses:

BIOC0003 – Experimental Biochemistry

BIOC0005 - Molecular Biology

BIOC0007 - Essential Molecular Biology

BIOC0017 – Cancer Biology

CELL0009/CELL0011 - Integrative Cell Biology

I supervise research and literature projects for BIOC0021 (Advanced Investigative projects in Molecular Biosciences) and BIOC0025 (MSci Biochemistry Extended research projects), and also supervise a number of PhD students.

UCL Education Award (2015) – innovative teaching on a CPD Lecture and Practical course “Lab Techniques in Mammalian Cell Biology”.


National Academy of Science
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1987
Lviv Medical University
Doctorate, Doctor of Medicine | 1983


I graduated as an MD at Lviv State Medical University (Ukraine) in 1983 with a great passion to become a surgeon in oncology. Thinking that a PhD in experimental oncology would help to realize my dream, I obtained my doctorate at the Institute of Experimental Oncology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1987. A fellowship from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) took me even further from clinical oncology, and also from Ukraine. I arrived in London on the first wave of perestroika and began my post-doctoral training in Jim Woodgett's laboratory at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (UCL Branch). Subsequently, I worked in Mike Waterfield's laboratory at the same Institute studying signal transduction via the PI3 kinase pathway. In 1996, I started my own group at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, focusing on the regulation of growth via the S6 kinase pathway. Since 2003, I have been a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at UCL – now renamed Structural and Molecular Biology, where I have an active research group working on the regulation of cell growth and metabolism in health and disease. I have a strong research (126 papers in peer-reviewed journals, H-Index 47) and patent (10 world-wide patents) portfolio and run two anti-cancer drug discovery programs.