Dept of Biological Sciences | Our research | Staff research areas
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Staff research areas

These key research areas reflect the department's strengths. Links to the academics' profile pages will give you more information about their research.

Structural biology

  • Dr Tracey Barrett, BSc, DPhil: Protein crystallography; eukaryotic and bacterial DNA repair mechanisms; eukaryotic homologous recombination targets. NK-kB signalling.
  • Professor John Christodoulou, PhD: Structural biology of protein folding and misfolding on the ribosome; NMR spectroscopy.
  • Professor Nicholas Keep, BA, MA, PhD: Protein crystallography; proteins implicated in muscular dystrophy; bacterial resuscitation particularly Tuberculosis.
  • Dr Amandine Maréchal, MSc, PhD: reaction mechanism of enzyme catalysis with emphasis on mitochondrial electron transfer chains and protonmotive cytochrome c oxidase; FTIR spectroscopy.
  • Professor Neil Q McDonald, BSc, PhD: Molecular mechanisms controlling growth factor-mediated signalling pathways.
  • Professor Carolyn A Moores, BA, PhD: Structure and function of the cytoskeleton; electron microscopy.
  • Professor Elena Orlova, BSc, MRes, PhD: Structural electron microscopy; portal proteins; ion channels; proteins involved in control of chromosomal replication.
  • Dr Jim E Pitts, BSc, PhD: Protein engineering of the proteins involved in the bacterial biphenyl pathway.
  • Dr Anthony Roberts, BSc, PhD: Mechanisms by which molecules are spatially organized within living cells. A main focus is on dynein, a large but poorly understood motor protein that uses ATP hydrolysis to transport cellular components and signals along microtubules.
  • Professor Helen R Saibil, BSc, PhD, FMedSci, FRS: Molecular chaperones and protein folding; protein misfolding in amyloid fibrils; membrane pore-forming proteins.
  • Dr Renos Savva, BSc, PhD: Virus-host interactions: protein–protein and protein-nucleic acid. Recombinant methods development and structural molecular biology.
  • Dr Konstantinos Thalassinos, BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD: Biological mass spectrometry, Ion mobility mass spectrometry, Mass spectrometry-based proteomics, Proteomics software development.
  • Dr Cara Vaughan, PhD: Structural Biology of Hsp90 and its cochaperones; Hsp90 role in kinetochore assembly; protein crystallography & single particle electron microscopy.
  • Professor Gabriel Waksman, MSc, PhD, FMedSci, FRS: Structural and Functional Biology of Bacterial Secretion Systems.
  • Professor Bonnie A Wallace, BS, MPhil, PhD, DSc: Membrane proteins; protein crystallography; circular dichroism spectroscopy and bioinformatics.
  • Dr Giulia Zanetti, PhD: Structural Biology of membrane trafficking and coat protein complexes. Cryo-EM and cryo-tomography.

Microbiology

  • Dr Sanjib Bhakta, BSc, MSc, PhD, DPhil (Oxon): Characterising structure, function and regulation of key enzymes in cell wall biosynthetic pathways to identify novel therapeutic targets in mycobacteria; understanding molecular mechanisms of persistance and drug resistance in mycobacteria; developing high through put models for testing antimycobacterials.
  • Dr Filipe Cabreiro, MSc, PhD: Metabolic disease and metabolism in mammalian and nematode model organisms; host-microbe interactions; ageing.
  • Professor Nicholas Keep, BA, MA, PhD: Protein crystallography; proteins implicated in muscular dystrophy; bacterial resuscitation particularly Tuberculosis.
  • Dr Philip Lowden, BA, PhD: Chemistry, genetics and enzymology of natural product biosynthesis in bacteria and fungi; medicinal chemistry of Huntington's Disease; chemical studies of post-translational protein modifications.
  • Dr Jane L Nicklin, BSc, PhD: Biochemical activities of fungi, including natural products with biomedical applications, biological control of plant pests weeds and diseases.
  • Dr Andrew Osborne, BSc, PhD: The molecular mechanism of protein export by the malaria parasite.
  • Dr Vitor Pinheiro, MA, MSci, PhD: Synthetic biology; directed evolution; synthetic nucleic acids (XNA); DNA polymerases; genetic orthogonality; tRNA synthetases; semantic orthogonality; rewriting the natural genetic code; metabolism engineering; novel bioactive compounds.
  • Dr Renos Savva, BSc, PhD: Virus-host interactions: protein–protein and protein-nucleic acid. Recombinant methods development and structural molecular biology.
  • Professor Gabriel Waksman, MSc, PhD, FMedSci, FRS: Structural and Functional Biology of Bacterial Secretion Systems.

Computational biology

  • Dr Paul M King, BA, DPhil: Computer simulation; computer-aided drug design.
  • Dr Irilenia Nobeli, BSc, MSc, PhD: Bioinformatics, chemoinformatics and molecular simulations applied to molecular recognition and drug design; the role of RNA in regulation of gene expression; metabolome analysis; protein binding promiscuity and multifunctionality.
  • Dr Adrian Shepherd, BA, MSc, PhD: Immunoinformatics: virus-host interactions and immune responses to protein therapeutics; biomedical text mining
  • Dr Katherine C Thompson, MA, DPhil: Spectroscopy, kinetics and computational biological chemistry.
  • Professor Maya Topf, BSc, MSc, DPhil: Structure and function characterisation of macromolecular assemblies by a combination of experimental data, bioinformatics, and modelling techniques.
  • Dr Mark A Williams, BSc, PhD: Molecular simulation approaches to biomolecular thermodynamics; empirical structure-thermodynamic relationships; structure-based inhibitor design.

Chemical biology

  • Dr Sanjib Bhakta, BSc, MSc, PhD, DPhil (Oxon): Characterising structure, function and regulation of key enzymes in cell wall biosynthetic pathways to identify novel therapeutic targets in mycobacteria; understanding molecular mechanisms of persistance and drug resistance in mycobacteria; developing high through put models for testing antimycobacterials.
  • Dr Paul M King, BA, DPhil: Computer simulation; computer-aided drug design.
  • Dr Philip Lowden, BA, PhD: Chemistry, genetics and enzymology of natural product biosynthesis in bacteria and fungi; medicinal chemistry of Huntington's Disease; chemical studies of post-translational protein modifications.
  • Professor Neil Q McDonald, BSc, PhD: Molecular mechanisms controlling growth factor-mediated signalling pathways.
  • Dr Marianne Odlyha, BA, BSc, MSc, PhD: Environmental research for assessment of indoor conditions surrounding cultural materials and damage assessment of (macro to nanoscale) biomaterials.
  • Dr Vitor Pinheiro, MA, MSci, PhD: Synthetic biology; directed evolution; synthetic nucleic acids (XNA); DNA polymerases; genetic orthogonality; tRNA synthetases; semantic orthogonality; rewriting the natural genetic code; metabolism engineering; novel bioactive compounds.
  • Dr Jonathan M Slater, BSc, PhD, CChem, MRSC: Electrochemistry, including sensors and sensor arrays; microfabrication and capillary electrophoresis.
  • Dr Katherine C Thompson, MA, DPhil: Spectroscopy, kinetics and computational biological chemistry.
  • Dr Salvador Tomas, BSc, PhD: Intermolecular interactions and applications towards molecular nano-engineering; molecular phenomena at lipid bilayars and implications in cellular regulation; design of nano- and micro-compartmentalised systems as a tool for drug development; studies on the origin of life; design of minimal artificial cells.

Cell biology

  • Dr Emmanuel Boucrot, BSc, PhD: Dissecting molecular mechanisms of intracellular membrane trafficking during cell regeneration, cell migration and bacterial infection and understanding their perturbations during ageing and some cancers.
  • Dr Andrew Osborne, BSc, PhD: The molecular mechanism of protein export by the malaria parasite.
  • Dr Richard C Rayne, BSc, PhD: Physiology of insects: neurobiology (peptidergic signalling) and immunology (cell-mediated defenses).
  • Professor Helen R Saibil, BSc, PhD, FMedSci, FRS: Molecular chaperones and protein folding; protein misfolding in amyloid fibrils; membrane pore-forming proteins.

Biophysics

  • Dr Tracey Barrett, BSc, DPhil: Protein crystallography; eukaryotic and bacterial DNA repair mechanisms; eukaryotic homologous recombination targets. NK-kB signalling.
  • Dr Alan Lowe, MBiochem, PhD: Biophysics; Single-molecule biophysics; Super-resolution optical microscopy; Live-cell imaging; Nucleocytoplasmic transport.
  • Dr Amandine Maréchal, MSc, PhD: reaction mechanism of enzyme catalysis with emphasis on mitochondrial electron transfer chains and protonmotive cytochrome c oxidase; FTIR spectroscopy.
  • Professor Carolyn A Moores, BA, PhD: Structure and function of the cytoskeleton; electron microscopy.
  • Dr Marianne Odlyha, BA, BSc, MSc, PhD: Environmental research for assessment of indoor conditions surrounding cultural materials and damage assessment of (macro to nanoscale) biomaterials.
  • Professor Elena Orlova, BSc, MRes, PhD: Structural electron microscopy; portal proteins; ion channels; proteins involved in control of chromosomal replication.
  • Dr Anthony Roberts, BSc, PhD: Mechanisms by which molecules are spatially organized within living cells. A main focus is on dynein, a large but poorly understood motor protein that uses ATP hydrolysis to transport cellular components and signals along microtubules.
  • Dr Konstantinos Thalassinos, BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD: Biological mass spectrometry, Ion mobility mass spectrometry, Mass spectrometry-based proteomics, Proteomics software development.
  • Dr Salvador Tomas, BSc, PhD: Intermolecular interactions and applications towards molecular nano-engineering; molecular phenomena at lipid bilayars and implications in cellular regulation; design of nano- and micro-compartmentalised systems as a tool for drug development; studies on the origin of life; design of minimal artificial cells.
  • Professor Bonnie A Wallace, BS, MPhil, PhD, DSc: Membrane proteins; protein crystallography; circular dichroism spectroscopy and bioinformatics.
  • Dr Mark A Williams, BSc, PhD: Molecular simulation approaches to biomolecular thermodynamics; empirical structure-thermodynamic relationships; structure-based inhibitor design.
  • Dr Giulia Zanetti, PhD: Structural Biology of membrane trafficking and coat protein complexes. Cryo-EM and cryo-tomography.

Biology (organismal)

  • Dr Filipe Cabreiro, MSc, PhD: Metabolic disease and metabolism in mammalian and nematode model organisms; host-microbe interactions; ageing.
  • Dr Jane L Nicklin, BSc, PhD: Biochemical activities of fungi, including natural products with biomedical applications, biological control of plant pests weeds and diseases.
  • Dr Richard C Rayne, BSc, PhD: Physiology of insects: neurobiology (peptidergic signalling) and immunology (cell-mediated defenses).