Dr Gavin Mcstay

Associate Professor

School of Health, Science and Wellbeing

My research interests focus on the roles mitochondria play in aspects of eukaryotic life, ranging from their origin, metabolism, biogenesis and role they play in cell death pathways. These are interrogated using biochemical, molecular biology, genetic and cell biology techniques. I incorporate these interests into classes I teach to provide an understanding of practical techniques and also the current literature in the field. I am also a strong supporter of scientific communications and outreach to disseminate scientific developments and knowledge to a broader audience with the goal of increasing the general support of the scientific process.

Professional memberships and activities

Biochemical Society

Genetics Society

Microbiology Society

New York Academy of Sciences

Society for Applied Microbiology

Academic qualifications

Ph.D., University of Bristol “Molecular characterisation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore”, 2003
B.Sc., University of Leeds, Biochemistry with industrial placement, 1999


Mitochondrial physiology and cell death pathways in model systems using biochemical, molecular biology, genetic, and cell biology techniques.

Research interests

Current interests focus on the signaling pathways engaged during mitochondrial quality control and cell death pathways in relation to normal cell function and disease.

PhD supervision on adipocyte differentiation, stress genes in plants, and genomic data use.


Enterprise and commercial interests

Development of Biomed News, a machine learning based biomedical research abstract announcement services – http://biomed.news.


  • Course leader for MSc Molecular Biology

    MSc Molecular Biology teaching – Practical DNA Analysis, MSc Molecular Biology project and other modules.


    BSc Biology and Biomedical Science courses – Molecular Genetics & Genetic Engineering, Genomics & Bioinformatics and biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology material in other modules.


  • Watson SA & McStay GP. Functons of Cytochrome c Oxidase Assembly Factors. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20(19), 7254. 2020.
  • Gnaiger Erich et al ― MitoEAGLE Task Group (2020) Mitochondrial physiology. Bioenergetic Communications 2020.1.
  • Barros M, McStay GP. Modular Assembly of Mitochondral Respiratory Complexes. Mitochondrion 50:94-114, 2020.
  • Elkholi R, Abraham-Enachescu I, Trotta AP, Rubio-Patiño C, Mohammed JN, Luna-Vargas MPA, Gelles JD, Kaminetsky JR, Serasinghe MN, Zou C, Ali S, McStay GP, Pfleger CM, Chipuk JE. MDM2 Integrates Cellular Respiration and Apoptotic Signaling through NDUFS1 and the Mitochondrial Network. Molecular Cell 74 (3): 452-467, 2019.
  • Franco, LVR, Su C-H, McStay GP, Yu G, Tzagoloff A. Cox2p of yeast cytochrome oxidase assembles as a stand-alone subunit with Cox1p and Cox3pm modules. Journal of Biological Chemistry 293 (43): 16899-16911, 2018.
  • Ali, S, McStay GP. Regulation of mitochondrial dynamics by proteolytic processing and turnover. Antioxidants 7 (1): 15, 2018.
  • McStay GP. Turnover of mitochondrial transporters and ion channels. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes 49 (1): 101-111, 2017.
  • McStay GP. Use of peptide-based substrates and inhibitors of apoptotic caspases. Methods in Molecular Biology 1419: 57-67, 2016.
  • Su C-H, McStay GP, Tzagoloff A. Assembly of the Rotor Component of Yeast Mitochondrial ATP Synthase is Enhanced when Atp9p is Supplied by Atp9p-Cox6p Complexes. Journal of Biological Chemistry 289 (45): 31605-31616, 2014.
  • McStay GP, Green DR. Measuring Apoptosis: Caspase Inhibitors and Activity Assays. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 2014 (8): 799-806, 2014.
  • Su C-H, McStay GP, Tzagoloff A. The Cox3p Assembly Module of Yeast Cytochrome Oxidase. Molecular Biology of the Cell 25 (7): 965-976, 2014.
Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020