Satpal Virdee, PhD, is a chemical and structural biologist at the University of Dundee. He set up his group at the MRC PPU in 2011 and became a tenured Programme Leader in 2016. Dr. Virdee has developed strategies for site-specifically ubiquitinating recombinant proteins via enzyme-independent methods. Dr. Virdee carried out a year of industrial training at Pfizer, then joined the lab of Gabriel Waksman FRS at UCL/Birkbeck where he established protein semisynthesis technology. At the University of Dundee, he has pioneered the genetically directed ubiquitination of recombinant proteins. In collaboration with David Komander, he revealed that the deubiquitinating enzyme TRABID has high activity toward atypical ubiquitin chains. He also determined with crystal structure of K6-linked ubiquitin, a linkage implicated with DNA repair processes. Dr. Virdee's independent research has shifted to the study of E3 ligases, and he has developed the first activity-based probes for this important enzyme family.
Dr. Virdee received a first class honors degree in computer-aided chemistry from the University of Surrey. He then undertook a doctorate, working with Gabriel Waksman FRS at Birkbeck College London.