David Komander, Ph.D.

Dr. David Komander is Head of the Ubiquitin Signaling Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne, Australia. He received his PhD from the University of Dundee, and worked as a Beit Memorial Fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, before starting a prolific lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK (2008-18). The Komander lab has developed various methods to interrogate the complexity in the ubiquitin code, and uncovered the molecular basis for specificity in the ubiquitin system in E3 ligases, ubiquitin binding domains, and deubiquitinases (DUBs), discovering unappreciated linkage preferences in OTU DUBs, new human enzymes including OTULIN, and establishing DUBs as drug targets. In the last few years, his lab has structurally characterized all key components mediating the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of mitochondria via PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy, providing the molecular underpinning of early-onset parkinsonism. At WEHI, David now also has access to state-of-the-art facilities to interrogate ubiquitin enzymes at the physiological level, and to develop small molecule probes and inhibitors to enable drug discovery. David is a member of EMBO, and a Lister Fellow.