Dr Rhys Roberts

Rhys Roberts

University position

Wellcome-Beit Prize and Intermediate Clinical Fellow

Dr Rhys Roberts is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)



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Research Themes

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Clinical and Veterinary Neuroscience


Our group is interested in peripheral nerve diseases, particularly the inherited peripheral neuropathies, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). We have focused on the demyelinating forms of CMT, where defects in intracellular membrane trafficking pathways in Schwann cells appear to play key roles in pathogenesis. By understanding the underlying molecular defects that lead to CMT in affected patients, specific dysfunctional pathways amenable to potential therapeutic intervention will be identified.

Colocalisation of Rab11 and the CMT-associated protein, SH3TC2, at the recycling endosome. (Nucleus is shown in blue).
3 dimensional confocal render of z-stacks showing Sh3tc2 (Green) in Schwann cell cytoplasm distinct from the compact myelin sheath labelled with Myelin Basic Protein (Red) in teased rat sciatic nerve fibres. The Schwann cell nuclei are labelled with DAPI (Blue)
View image full-size (1026x689 pixels)

Research Focus


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease


Schwann cells


Membrane Trafficking

Clinical conditions

Peripheral Neuropathy


Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy



Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

Key publications

Ho AK, Wagstaff JL, Manna PT, Wartosch L, Qamar S, Garman EF, Freund SM, Roberts RC. (2016), “The topology, structure and PE interaction of LITAF underpin a Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1C.” BMC Biol 14: 109

Vijay S, Chiu M, Dacks JB, Roberts RC. (2016), “Exclusive expression of the Rab11 effector SH3TC2 in Schwann cells links integrin-?6 and myelin maintenance to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4C.” Biochim Biophys Acta. 1862(7):1279-90.

Roberts RC, Peden AA, Buss F, Bright NA, Latouche M, Reilly MM, Kendrick-Jones J, Luzio JP (2010), “Mistargeting of SH3TC2 away from the recycling endosome causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4C.” Hum Mol Genet 19(6):1009-18 Details



Roberts RC (2012), “The Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseases: how can we identify and develop novel therapeutic targets?” Brain 135(Pt 12):3527-8 Details


Chibalina MV, Roberts RC, Arden SD, Kendrick-Jones J, Buss F (2008), “Rab8-optineurin-myosin VI: analysis of interactions and functions in the secretory pathway.” Methods Enzymol 438:11-24 Details


Morriswood B, Ryzhakov G, Puri C, Arden SD, Roberts R, Dendrou C, Kendrick-Jones J, Buss F (2007), “T6BP and NDP52 are myosin VI binding partners with potential roles in cytokine signalling and cell adhesion.” J Cell Sci 120(Pt 15):2574-85 Details


Roberts RC, Sutherland-Smith AJ, Wheeler MA, Jensen ON, Emerson LJ, Spiliotis II, Tate CG, Kendrick-Jones J, Ellis JA (2006), “The Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy associated-protein emerin is phosphorylated on serine 49 by protein kinase A.” FEBS J 273(19):4562-75 Details


Sahlender DA, Roberts RC, Arden SD, Spudich G, Taylor MJ, Luzio JP, Kendrick-Jones J, Buss F (2005), “Optineurin links myosin VI to the Golgi complex and is involved in Golgi organization and exocytosis.” J Cell Biol 169(2):285-95 Details


Lister I, Roberts R, Schmitz S, Walker M, Trinick J, Veigel C, Buss F, Kendrick-Jones J (2004), “Myosin VI: a multifunctional motor.” Biochem Soc Trans 32(Pt 5):685-8 Details

Roberts R, Lister I, Schmitz S, Walker M, Veigel C, Trinick J, Buss F, Kendrick-Jones J (2004), “Myosin VI: cellular functions and motor properties.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 359(1452):1931-44 Details


Morris SM, Arden SD, Roberts RC, Kendrick-Jones J, Cooper JA, Luzio JP, Buss F (2002), “Myosin VI binds to and localises with Dab2, potentially linking receptor-mediated endocytosis and the actin cytoskeleton.” Traffic 3(5):331-41 Details