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Three times during Joshua’s PhD unexpected results led to interesting new discoveries about an important protein and its many methyltransferases. This protein, eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (eEF1A), is essential for all living organisms. It is involved in many different cellular processes, and so it is important to understand how it is regulated through post-translational modification. One modification that occurs extensively on eEF1A is methylation. Joshua’s PhD has focused on discovering and characterising the enzymes that catalyse this modification, called methyltransferases. He will share three tales detailing the serendipitous discovery of unexpected methylation, an unexpected methyltransferase and unexpected methyltransferase activity.
Joshua Hamey completed his undergraduate studies at UNSW in 2013 and commenced his PhD in 2014. During his PhD he published three first-author papers and mentored four undergraduate students, including two honours students. In 2016 he presented his work at an international conference on Biological Methylation in Lisbon, Portugal. He has also presented his work at numerous international conferences in Australia.