Hamish King completed his undergraduate and Honours at Flinders University in Adelaide, before moving to the United Kingdom to undertake his PhD training in molecular epigenetics at the University of Oxford with Prof Rob Klose. While there he studied how gene expression is regulated by chromatin-modifying complexes, and how sequence-specific transcription factors cooperate with chromatin remodellers to access and bind the genome. Following his PhD, Hamish was a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr Louisa James at the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, where he studied the transcriptional and epigenetic regulatory networks that determine B cell identity and function in the human immune system.

Building on these discoveries, Hamish joined WEHI as a Laboratory Head in February 2022, where his team is focused on understanding how defects in the epigenetic control of gene expression are involved in human autoimmune disease.

To achieve this, the lab uses both experimental and computational approaches, combined with ex vivo immune cell cultures for human B cell maturation. We integrate results from our lab-based analyses with datasets from “real world” patient single-cell transcriptomic and epigenomic datasets, and vice versa, with the long-term aim to provide translational insights into how epigenetic dysregulation in the immune system is linked with disease.


Selected publications from Dr Hamish King

Kleshchevnikov, V, Shmatko, A, Dann, E, Aivazidis, A, King, HW, Li, T, Elmentaite, R, Lomakin, A, Kedlian, V, Gayoso, A, Jain, MS, Park, JS, Ramona, L, Tuck, E, Arutyunyan, A, Vento-Tormo, R, Gerstung, M, James, L, Stegle, O & Bayraktar, OA, Nature Biotechnology. 2022. ‘Cell2location maps fine-grained cell types in spatial transcriptomics.’ https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-021-01139-4. PMID: 35027729

King HW*§, Wells KL*, Shipony Z*, Kathiria AS, Wagar LE, Lareau C, Orban N, Capasso R, Davis MM, Steinmetz LM, James LK & Greenleaf WJ§. Integrated single-cell transcriptomics and epigenomics reveals strong germinal center-associated etiology of autoimmune risk loci. Science Immunology. 2021. 6(64):eabh3768. PMID: 34623901

King HW§, Orban N, Riches JC, Clear AJ, Warnes G, Teichmann SA & James LK§. Single-cell analysis of human B cell maturation predicts how antibody class switching shapes selection dynamics. Science Immunology. 2021. 6(56):eabe6291. PMID: 33579751

James KR, Gomes T, Elmentaite R, Kumar N, Gulliver EL, King HW, Stares MD, Bareham BR, Ferdinand JR, Petrova VN, Polański K, Forster SC, Jarvis LB, Suchanek O, Howlett S, James LK, Jones JL, Meyer KB, Clatworthy MR, Saeb-Parsy K, Lawley TD & Teichmann SA. Distinct microbial and immune niches of the human colon. Nature Immunology. 2020. 21(3):343-353. PMID: 32066951

Cusack M, King HW, Spingardi P, Kessler BM, Klose RJ & Kriaucionis S. Distinct contributions of DNA methylation and histone acetylation to the genomic occupancy of transcription factors. Genome Research. 2020. 30(10):1393-1406. PMID: 32963030

Fursova NA*, Blackledge NP*, Nakayama M, Ito S, Koseki Y, Farcas AM, King HW, Koseki H & Klose RJ. Synergy between Variant PRC1 Complexes Defines Polycomb-Mediated Gene Repression. Molecular Cell. 2019. 74(5):1020-1036.e8. PMID: 31029541

King HW§, Fursova NA, Blackledge NP & Klose RJ§. Polycomb repressive complex 1 shapes the nucleosome landscape but not accessibility at target genes. Genome Research. 2018. 28(10):1494-1507. PMID: 30154222

King HW & Klose RJ. The pioneer factor OCT4 requires the chromatin remodeller BRG1 to support gene regulatory element function in mouse embryonic stem cells. eLife. 2017. 6:e22631. PMID: 28287392

Rose NR*, King HW*, Blackledge NP*, Fursova NA, Ember KJI, Fischer R, Kessler BM & Klose RJ. RYBP stimulates PRC1 to shape chromatin-based communication between Polycomb repressive complexes. eLife. 2016. 5:e18591. PMID: 27705745

Blackledge NP*, Farcas AM*, Kondo T*, King HW, Mcgouran JF, Hanssen LLP, Ito S, Cooper S, Kondo K, Koseki Y, Ishikura T, Long HK, Sheahan TW, Brockdorff N, Kessler BM, Koseki H & Klose RJ. Variant PRC1 Complex-Dependent H2A Ubiquitylation Drives PRC2 Recruitment and Polycomb Domain Formation. Cell. 2014. 157(6):1445-1459. PMID: 24856970

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