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Supervisor pool

Following successful completion of their MSc course, students will embark on three years of exciting research leading to a PhD in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research.

Projects should be student-led and designed during the summer with two supervisors - each from a different discipline. Below is a list of supervisors, an exemplar reference and any existing interdisciplinary and Singaporean/Gambian collaborators.

Quantitative Cellular Dynamics 
  • Munehiro Asally (Life Sciences) l Collective dynamics of bacterial colonies (biofilms, swarming), bacterial electrophysiology, fluorescent time-lapse microscopy. / see: Asally et al, PNAS, 2012 l working with: Marco Polin (Physics), Vasily Kantsler (Physics), Sara Kalvala (Computer Science).
  • Mohan Balasubramanian (Medical School) l Synthetic Cell Biology: Using biophysics and chemistry to understand molecular mechanisms of actomyosin ring dependent eukaryotic cell division. l see: Huang et al, eLife, 2016 l working with: Nigel Burroughs (Maths).
  • Andrew Blanks (Medical School) | Reproduction in mammals, parturition and preterm birth, drug discovery, computational biology of bioelectrical systems. | see: Jolene et al, PLOS Computational Biology, 2016 | working with: Hugo van den Berg, David Rand (Maths).
  • Andrew Bowman (Medical School) | Research utilises novel synthetic biology approaches and fluorescence microscopy to observe chromatin assembly in living cells. | see: Bowman et al, Nucleic Acids Res., 2016.
  • Till Bretschneider (Computer Science) | Cell motility and the cytoskeleton, image analysis, computational modelling. | see: Tyson et al, PNAS, 2014 | working with: Karuna Sampath (Medical School), Andrew McAinsh, Rob Cross (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology), Rob Kay (Cambridge), Kees Weijer (Dundee).
  • Nigel Burroughs (Maths) | Understanding complex biological data sets, primarily through construction and fitting of appropriate mathematical/statistical models. | see: Burroughs et al, eLife 2015 | working with: Andrew McAinsh, Rob Cross (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology), Christian Eggeling (Oxford).
  • Mark Christian (Medical School) | Understanding the processes that control energy metabolism in brown adipocytes and have the potential to be targeted for weight loss treatments. | see: Barneda et al, eLife, 2015 | working with: Ann Dixon (Chemistry).
  • Joanna Collingwood (Engineering) | Imaging and quantification of transition metal ion distribution in the human brain, application to identifying changes in neurodegenerative disorders. | see: Collingwood & Davidson, Front. Pharmacology, 2014.
  • Rob Cross (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology) | Research focuses on the force generating mechanisms of kinesins and microtubules. | working with: Gemma Davies (Chemistry), Mathew Turner (Physics)
  • Robert Dallmann (Medical School) | Circadian clocks in health, disease and pharmacotherapy. | see: DeBruyne JP et al, 2014 | working with: David Rand, Annabelle Ballesta (Maths), Barbel Finkenstadt (Statistics).
  • Barbel Finkenstadt Rand (Statistics) l Interested in statistics and mathematical biology. Inference for temporal or spatio-temporal data from biological systems (from single cells to meta-populations). Stochasticity in gene expression. l see: Featherstone et al, eLife 2016 (5) l working with chronotherapy group at WMS (Levi, Innominato, Dallman, Ballesta), Rand (Maths), Hebenstreit (Life Sciences).
  • Bruno Frenguelli (Life Sciences) | Interested in several aspects of the brain: its ability to learn and remember, its vulnerability to stroke, epilepsy and injury and the role that the purines ATP and adenosine play in these processes. | see: zur Nedden et al, Neurochemistry, 2014 l working with: Pat Unwin (Chemistry), Daniel Hebenstreit (Life Sciences).
  • Geraldine Hartshorne (Medical School) | Human oocyte formation, selection, maturation and ageing; pre-implantation embryo development. | see: Patel et al, Biology Open, 2015 | working with: Andrew McAinsh (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology).
  • Daniel Hebenstreit (Life Sciences) l Stochastic variation in biology | Next generation sequencing |Single molecule/cell studies |see: Archer N et al, Cell systems, 2016 l working with: Louise Dyson (Life Sciences, Mathematics); Keith Leppard (Life Sciences); Bruno Frenguelli (Life Sciences); Barbel Finkenstadt (Statistics); Andrew Nelson (Life Sciences).

  • Robert Huckstepp (Life Sciences) l Uses in vivo models to functionally dissect autonomic microcircuits in the brain and to study systems physiology, with a main focus on the cardiorespiratory system.
  • Vasily Kantsler (Physics) l Biophysics and physiology of micro-swimming, widely using microfluidics and optical microscopy methods. l see: Bukatin et all, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2015 l working with: Munehiro Asally, Andre Pires da Silva (Life Sciences).
  • Alex Jones (Life Sciences) | Focused on the mechanisms regulating vesicle trafficking in plant root development. Also leads the Proteomics Research Technology Platform and is interested in how post translational modifications to proteins can influence their function. | see: Wilhelm & Jones, J. Proteomics Res., 2014.
  • Jozef Lewandowski (Chemistry) l Structural biology of protein complexes, membrane proteins and aggregates with a focus on solid-state and solution NMR. l see: Lamley et al, American Chemical Society, 2014.
  • Andrew McAinsh (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology) | Origins of chromosome mis-segregation in human disease and development, live-cell imaging, in vitro reconsitution, genome editing, image analysis. | see: Smith et al, eLife 2016 | working with: Nigel Burroughs (Maths), Gemma Davies (Chemistry), Till Bretchneider (Computer Science), Rob Cross (CMCB)
  • Jonathan Millar (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology, Medical School) | The Millar lab studies the mechanism and deregulation of cell cycle checkpoints using live cell imaging, image analysis, phospho-proteomics, bioinformatics and genome editing in yeast and human cells l see: Mora-Santos et al, Current Biology 2016 l working with Alex Jones (Life Sciences), Bela Novak (Biochemistry, Oxford), Philip Kaldis (ICMB, Singapore), Rob Cross, Andrew McAinsh (CMCB).
  • Masanori Mishima (Medical School) | Molecular mechanisms of animal cytokinesis. | see: Lee et al, Nat. Comms 6:7290, 2015 l working with: Irina Golovleva (Umea).
  • Andrew Nelson (Life Sciences) l Gene regulatory networks controlling lineage commitment and differentiation of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts using single-cell transcriptomics and functional genomics. | see Nelson et al, Nat Commun 2016 | working with: Karuna Sampath (Medical School), Daniel Hebenstreit (Life Sciences), Sascha Ott (Computer Science).
  • Kristen Panfilio (Life Sciences) l Genetics and fluorescent live imaging of cell behaviors and tissue integrity during epithelial morphogenesis (live cell imaging, image analysis, genome editing, gene expression, RNAi, animal embryos) | see Hilbrant et al, 2016 eLife 5: e13834 | working with: Karuna Sampath (Medical School), Andrew Nelson (Life Sciences), Till Bretschneider (Computer Science).
  • Sebastien Perrier (Chemistry) The development of novel materials for medical application; we engineer nanomaterials, which structure is controlled at the nm scale, to probe the function of cells and the various mechanism involved in living organisms, and then employ this knowledge to develop therapeutic systems. l see: Cobo et al, Nature Materials, 2015.
  • Giacomo de Piccoli (Medical School) | How the S phase checkpoint regulates the replication machinery. | see: García-Rodríguez LJ et al, Nucleic Acids Res. 2015.
  • Marco Polin (Physics) l Uses experimental and theoretical tools from physics to advance our understanding of the biology of microorganisms. l see: Jeanneret et al, Nature Communications, 2016 l working with: Anne Straube (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology), Meera Unnikrishnan (Medical School) and John McCarthy (Life Sciences).
  • Steve Royle (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology) | Mitotic spindle stability in human cells; molecules and mechanics of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. | see: Nixon et al, eLife 4:e07635 2015 | working with: Julia Brettschneider (Statistics) and Richard Bayliss (Leeds).
  • Karuna Sampath (Medical School) | Molecular mechanisms that control development and differentiation in embryonic progenitors using live-imaging, proteomics, genome editing, quantitative approaches, and zebrafish developmental genetics. | see: Yin et al, eLife 5:e13879 2016 | working with: Till Bretschneider, Sascha Ott (Computer Science).
  • Corinne Smith (Life Sciences) | Structure and mechanism of macromolecular assemblies involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis using high resolution cryo-electron microscopy, fluorescence and biophysical analysis. | see: Rothnie et al, PNAS 108, 2011 | working with: Matthew Turner (Physics), Nikola Chmel (Chemistry).
  • Michael Smutny (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology) | Interplay between mechanical forces and biochemical signaling in tissue morphogenesis, cell specification and cell migration during embryonic zebrafish development, using quantitative live cell imaging, biophysical measurements, transcriptomics and mathematical modeling. | see: Smutny et al. Nat Cell Biol 2017 | working with: Till Bretschneider (Computer Science), Verena Ruprecht (CRG Barcelona), Sanjeev Galande (Iiser Pune), Guillaume Salbreux (Crick, London)
  • Anne Straube (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology) | Mechanisms of microtubule organisation and dynamics regulation; microtubule functions in cell differentiation and migration. | see: Mogessie et al, eLife 2015 | working with: Marco Polin (Physics), Tim Saunders (Singapore).
  • Matthew Turner (Physics) Builds predictive models of biological systems, primarily using pen-and-paper theory. Systems of interest include the cytoskeleton, membranes, molecular motors and organelle genesis and structures. l see: Morris and Turner, Phys. Rev. Lett, 2015 l working with: Nick Carter, Rob Cross (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology), Patricia Bassereau, Pierre Sens (Institute Curie).
Molecular Microbiology
  • Mark Achtman (Medical School) | Reconstruction of the evolutionary history of bacterial pathogens by combining ancient DNA analyses with population genetics of extant organisms. | see: Zhou et al, PNAS, 2014 | working with: Chris Quince (Medical School), Julian Parkhill (Sanger Centre), Tom Gilbert (Copenhagan).
  • Martin Antonio (MRC Unit, The Gambia) | New molecular technologies in large-scale international research projects including investigating the aetiology of pneumonia and diarrhoea.
  • Greg Challis (Chemistry) l The discovery, biosynthesis, bioengineering and mechanism of action of antibiotics and other bioactive specialised metabolites produced by microorganisms. l see: Rutledge and Challis, Nature Reviews Microbiology, 2015. l working with: Jozef Lewandowski (Chemistry), Christopher Corre (Life Sciences/Chemistry).
  • Mike Chappell (Engineering) |The modelling and analysis of biomedical, pharmacokinetic and biological processes with specific interest in the emerging field of Quantitative and Systems Pharmacology. l see: Hutchison et al, American Society of Nephrology, 2009.
  • Chrystala Constantinidou (Medical School) | Microbial pathogenesis through the study of secretions systems, motility and genomics analysis. | see: Loman et al, JAMA, 2013.
  • Emma Denham (Medical School) l Understanding the role non-coding RNAs play in the lifestyles of Gram-positive bacteria, mainly focusing on the model organism Bacillus subtilis, but with a developing interest in Gram-Positive pathogens from the Streptococci group. l see: Mars et al, PLOS Genetics, 2015 l working with: Andrew Millard, Chrystala Constantinidou (Medical School) and James Leigh (Nottingham).
  • Ann Dixon (Chemistry) l Molecular and structural basis of membrane protein folding and interactions for proteins of importance to immune function and development of disease. l see: Nash et al, BBA Biomembranes, 2015 l working with: Victor Zammit, Mark Christian, Daniel Mitchell, Judith Klein-Seetharaman (Medical School), Lorenzo Frigerio, David Roper (Life Sciences), Steven Brown (Physics), Daniel DiMaio, James Drake (USA).
  • Christopher Dowson (Life Sciences) l Antibiotic discovery and antibiotic resistance: underpinned by fundamental mechanistic insight using molecular microbiology, biochemistry, and high resolution imaging.
  • Neil Evans (Engineering) l Mathematical modelling and control of biomedical processes, including reaction kinetics, tumour growth, and antibody dynamics, with a particular interest in Systems Pharmacology. l see: Evans et al, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 2014 l working with: Chris Dowson, David Roper (Life Sciences), Tim Bugg, (Chemistry), Dan Mitchell (Medical School), Sunil Daga (University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire).
  • Elizabeth Fullam (Life Sciences) l Utilising a multidisciplinary approach to understand nutrient uptake and metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. l see: Fullam et al, Open Biology, 2016 l working with: Matthew Gibson (Chemistry), Alison Rodger (Chemistry).
  • Matthew Gibson (Chemistry) l Developing systems for rapid, low cost microbial diagnostics (for e.g developing countries); understanding the role of carbohydrates in infection; cryopreseration of donor cells/tissue inspired by how antifreeze proteins enable life to flourish in the polar oceans. l see: Deller et al, Nature Communications, 2014 l working with: Nick Waterfield, Daniel Mitchell (Medical School), Elizabeth Fullam (SLS).
  • Freya Harrison (Life Sciences) | Researching how bacterial pathogens interact and evolve during chronic infections, especially in the long-lived lung infections that affect people with the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis. Antibiotic discovery from natural products used in historical infection remedies. | see: Harrison et al, mBio, 2015
  • Deirdre Hollingsworth (Maths) l Using mathematical and statistical tools to understand the dynamics of transmission to inform control, particularly focusing on neglected tropical diseases. l see: Hollingsworth et al, BMC Proceedings, 2015.
  • Binuraj Menon (Life Sciences/Chemistry) l Identification of halogenated synthetic, natural and non-natural compounds and their biosynthetic pathways; exploitation of biohalogenase for the development of therapeutic peptides and artificial enzymes for biomedical applications. l see: Menon et al, Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017. l working with: Greg Challis (Chemistry), Christopher Corre (Life Sciences/Chemistry), Matthew Jenner (Chemistry).
  • Sunish Radhakrishnan (Medical School) | cell cycle and cell fate determination in bacteria, metabolic control of cell cycle, chemical genetics, antimicrobial agents. see: Narayanan et al. Genes Dev. 2015.
  • Rudo Roemer (Physics) l Research interests in protein ridigity and flexibility as applied to structure and function relations in systems/problems such as HIV protease, PDI, AMR resistance, ligand-binding, etc. Also, electron transport in biological molecules including DNA. l see: Soulby et al, Protein Sci., 2015 l working with: Chris Dowson, David Roper, Robert Freedman (Life Sciences).
  • David Roper (Life Sciences) l Investigating the molecular basis of microbial physiology in relation to antimicrobial resistance.
  • Manuela Tosin (Chemistry) l Chemical biology tools for the elucidation of antibiotic biosynthesis; understanding the role of glycosyltransferase enzymes in health and disease l see: Riva et al., Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 l working with: Christopher Corre (Life Sciences/Chemistry), Jozef Lewandowski (Chemistry), Alex Cameron (Life Sciences), Alex Jones (Life Sciences), Rachel O'Reilly (Chemistry).
  • Meera Unnikrishnan (Medical School) | Understanding how clinically important bacterial pathogens colonise the host, invade and survive within host cells using a combination of whole genome-based and cellular methodologies. | see: Dapa et al J. Bacteriol., 2013 | working with: Marco Polin (Physics) and Chris Corre (Chemistry).
  • Nick Waterfield (Medical School) l Understanding the molecular mechanisms employed by bacterial pathogens to achieve virulence in insect and human hosts, more specifically how certain insect pathogens have evolved to infect humans also. l see: Mulley et al PLoS One, 2015 l working with: Matthew Gibson, Peter Scott (Chemistry), Christopher Corre, David Roper (Life Sciences).

Applied Medical Technologies

  • Mark Achtman (Medical School) and Matt Keeling (Mathematics Institute) l Use of microbial pathogenomics to analyse the spread and evolution of anti-microbial resistance.
  • Andrew Blanks and Jan Brosens (Medical School) | Development of second generation oxytocin antagonists for preterm labour
  • Nigel Burroughs (Mathematics Institute), Till Bretschneider (Computer Science) | Development of advanced computational tools and algorithms to analyze large-scale imaging datasets.
  • Jerome Charmet (WMG) l Development of microfluidic based platforms for biosensing and studies of complex biological processes | see Kartanas et al. Anal. Chem., 2017. | working with Judith Klein Seetharaman, Robert Dallmann (Medical School), Mark Barrow, David Haddleton (Chemistry), James Covington, Julian Gardner (Engineering), Antonia Sagona (SLS), Greg Gibbons, Mark Elliott (WMG).
  • James Covington and Julian Gardner (Engineering) | Chemical sensor design for artificial olfaction of human aliments (Electronic noses).
  • Mark Christian (Medical School) and Sascha Ott (Computer Science) | Development of novel strategies to control energy metabolism in brown adipocytes for weight loss treatment.
  • Nicholas Dale (Life Sciences) and Chris Imray (University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire) | Analytical tools for neuroscience including development of point-of-care diagnostic biosensors.
  • Robert Dallmann (Medical School) and Robert Huckstepp (Life Sciences) | Novel in vivo animal imaging technologies for chronotherapy and treatment of sleep apnoea.
  • Christopher Dowson and David Roper (Life Sciences) and Tim Bugg (Chemistry) | Discovery of novel antimicrobials for the peptidoglycan cell wall synthesis pathway in multidrug resistant bacteria. Multiple interactions with industry through the recently awarded Medicines Discovery Catapult.
  • Matt Gibson (Chemistry and Medical School) l Generation of thermo-responsive carbohydrates and polymers for regenerative medicine and treatment of infectious diseases
  • Sebastien Perrier (Chemistry and Medical School) | Synthesis of nano-structured materials for drug delivery, bio-conjugation and synthetic vaccines.
  • Nasir Rajpoot (Computer Science) l and David Snead (University Hospital Coventry Warwickshire) | Development of novel machine learning algorithms for digital pathology.
  • David Spanswick (Medical School and Monash University) l Preclinical drug discovery for pain, neuro-degeneration and psychiatry by studying electrophysiology of the nervous system.
  • Meera Unnikrishan (Medical School) and Deidre Hollingsworth (Mathematics Institute) | Analysis, sequencing and epidemiology of hospital acquired infections.