Personal profile


Prof Hayes initially trained between 1972 and 1976 in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, with final year of studies in Molecular Biology.  He gained a PhD from the Medical School of the same university in 1980, awarded for investigation into bile acid-binding properties of hepatic glutathione S-transferases. In 1981, he was appointed a Lecturer within the Department of Clinical Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Here, he focused attention on the enzymology and protein chemistry of the glutathione S-transferase (GST) superfamily in rodents and human, and became particularly interested in the contribution of inducible class Alpha GST to chemoprevention against the liver carcinogen aflatoxin B1 and the contribution made by overexpressed GST in tumours to acquired resistance to anticancer drugs. In 1991, he took sabbatical leave from the University of Edinburgh to work in the laboratory of Dr Cecil B. Pickett, in the Department of Molecular Biology, Merck Frosst, Montreal, Canada, which was responsible for discovering the antioxidant response element (ARE) in the promoters of genes for inducible drug-metabolizing enzymes. Upon return from sabbatical, the University of Edinburgh promoted Dr Hayes to a Readership in Clinical Biochemistry.

In October 1992, Dr Hayes moved as a Reader to the University of Dundee to help Prof C. Roland Wolf set up the Biomedical Research Centre in the Medical School. In this environment, he focused more on the molecular biology and regulation of detoxication enzymes and identified a new family of inducible aldo-keto reductases (AKR7A1) that metabolise a dialdehydic form of aflatoxin B1. In January 1997, the University of Dundee promoted him to a personal chair. Since then, his interest in the role of the ARE in directing induction of antioxidant and detoxication genes has continued, and he has collaborated with Prof Masayuki Yamamoto (Tsukuba, Japan) to demonstrate that the Nrf2 transcription factor regulates both basal and inducible expression of GST, AKR, quinone reductase and glutathione biosynthetic enzymes. More recently, Prof Hayes’ lab has shown that control of the ARE-gene battery critically depends on the stability of Nrf2 protein, and inhibition of Keap1 blocks turn-over of the transcription factor. Workers in the Hayes laboratory were the first to show that Nrf2 stability is controlled by Keap1, and have more recently demonstrated the existence of three independent stress sensors in Keap1 that evolved separately.

The Hayes lab has published a total of 198 peer-reviewed papers, most of which can be viewed through ResearchGate (

Prof Hayes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in May 2008, and a Fellow of the Society of Biology in September 2008.





  • R Medicine (General)
  • cancer research
  • drug metabolism
  • oxidative stress
  • non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Nrf2
  • Keap1

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 38 Similar Profiles
Glutathione Transferase Medicine & Life Sciences
Liver Medicine & Life Sciences
Rats Chemical Compounds
Aflatoxin B1 Medicine & Life Sciences
Enzymes Medicine & Life Sciences
NF-E2-Related Factor 2 Medicine & Life Sciences
Transferases Medicine & Life Sciences
Isoenzymes Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1977 2018

A partnership with the proteasome: the destructive nature of GSK3

Robertson, H., Hayes, J. D. & Sutherland, C. Jan 2018 In : Biochemical Pharmacology. 147, p. 77-92 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
beta-Transducin Repeat-Containing Proteins
1 Citations
Open Access
NF-E2-Related Factor 2
Liver Cirrhosis
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

Characterization of liver injury, oval cell proliferation and cholangiocarcinogenesis in glutathione S-transferase A3 knockout mice

Crawford, D. R., Ilic, Z., Guest, I., Milne, G. L., Hayes, J. D. & Sell, S. Jul 2017 In : Carcinogenesis. 38, 7, p. 717-727 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Aflatoxin B1
Glutathione Transferase
Knockout Mice
Cell Proliferation

Corrigendum to "Aldo-keto reductases are biomarkers of NRF2 activity and are co-ordinately overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer"

MacLeod, A. K., Acosta-Jimenez, L., Coates, P. J., McMahon, M., Carey, F. A., Honda, T., Hayes, J. D., Henderson, C. J. & Wolf, C. R. 22 Aug 2017 In : British Journal of Cancer. 117, 1 p., e1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citations

Crosstalk between NRF2 and HIPK2 shapes cytoprotective responses

Torrente, L., Sanchez, C., Moreno Dorta, R., Chowdhry, S., Cabello, P., Isono, K., Koseki, H., Honda, T., Hayes, J., Dinkova-Kostova, A. & de la Vega, L. 2 Nov 2017 In : Oncogene. 36, 44, p. 6204-6212 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Homeodomain Proteins
Protein Kinases


Investigating the role of transcription factor Nrf2 in the pathogenesis of NAFLD

Author: Wood, K. L., 2017

Supervisor: Dillon, J. (Supervisor) & Hayes, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science

Investigating the role of transcription factors Nrf2 and Pparα in hepatic lipid metabolism during fasting

Author: Tebay, L., 2015

Supervisor: Hayes, J. (Supervisor) & Dinkova-Kostova, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Mechanisms by which natural polyphenols regulate the expression of cytoprotective genes

Author: Xiao, H., 2010

Supervisor: Hayes, J. (Supervisor) & Stewart, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Regulation of transcription factors NRF2 and HSF1 in mediating cellular stress responses

Author: Dayalan Naidu, S., 2016

Supervisor: Dinkova-Kostova, A. (Supervisor) & Hayes, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy