2015 Cohort


Luke Harland - Early Lineage Decisions During Mouse Gastrulation

My project is investigating the number and diversity of progenitors that exist during the outset of gastrulation. I am particularly interested in how cell fate decisions are coordinated at a molecular level in these early progenitors. To accomplish these goals we study the mouse embryo and also utilise in vitro differentiation schemes with mouse embryonic stem cells.

Miles Huseyin

Miles Huseyin - Single particle tracking to study Polycomb complex dynamics

I am applying single particle tracking and other live cell microscopy techniques to study the dynamics of the developmentally important Polycomb repressive system in order to better understand what drives the interactions of the complexes PRC1 and PRC2 with chromatin, which is essential for their functional role.

Helena Francis

Helena Francis - Functional dissection of a single enhancer at the mouse alpha-globin locus

I am interested in how the information held in the mammalian DNA code is used to regulate gene expression. Using synthetic biology, genome engineering and next-generation sequencing techniques, I am unpicking the sequence of the strongest regulatory element at the mouse alpha-globin locus at a range of resolutions: from its 238 bp sequence to its context within a 100 kb gene locus.

holly hathrell

Holly Hathrell - Mapping the mouse: Automated computational analysis of AVE migration using Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy

My research seeks to characterise the movements of the Anterior Visceral Endoderm group of cells during anterior-posterior patterning in mouse embryogenesis. I aim to segment and track cells using an automated computational approach.

Ines Alvarez-Rodrigo

Ines Alvarez Rodrigo - Dissecting Polo kinase recruitment to the centrosome

Polo kinase (PLK1) is a key mitotic regulator. My work has focused on how Polo is recruited to the centrosome to promote the expansion of the pericentriolar matrix, which is essential for efficient formation of the mitotic spindle.

2016 Cohort

Joe Bowness

Joe Bowness - How do silencing pathways downstream of Xist facilitate gene silencing during X Chromosome Inactivation?

In mammalian development, dosage compensation of X-linked genes between the sexes is achieved by the transcriptional silencing of one female X chromosome in a process mediated by the lncRNA Xist. In my project, I use CRISPR-Cas9 edited mouse embryonic stem cell lines and a variety of genomics techniques to investigate how molecular pathways downstream of Xist cooperate to disrupt the regulatory landscape of chromatin and shut down gene expression.

Laura Hankins

Laura Hankins - Centriole Biogenesis

I am a DPhil student in Jordan Raff’s Lab, where I am studying the process of centriole biogenesis in the early Drosophila embryo as a model to understand how organelle growth is regulated within cells.

Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes - Understanding the role of SET1A in mammalian gene expression.

SET1A is a histone methyltransferase that trimethylates histone H3 at lysine 4. I aim to understand the contribution of SET1A in placing H3K4me3 in mouse embryonic stem cells, and the role that this activity plays in influencing gene expression.


Anna Lamstaes

Anna Lamstaes - Understanding the interplay between chromatin architecture and gene activation

I aim to elucidate changes in higher order chromatin structure upon induction of gene expression. To achieve this, I utilise transcriptomics and epigenetics in combination with chomosome conformation capture techniques.

Phoebe Oldach

Phoebe Oldach - Mechanisms Regulating DNA Replication

I am interested in the mechanisms underlying regulation of genome replication in eukaryotes. I have shown that cohesin-mediated genome architecture does not define replication timing domains in human cells. I am now investigating the processivity of leading strand synthesis by DNA polymerase epsilon in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

2017 Cohort

Clara Pavillet

Clara Pavillet - Agent-Based Intelligent System Modelling of Immune-Tumour Interactions for In Silico Bioengineering

I am in Computational Biology, combining computational and mathematical modelling techniques to recreate the dynamic interplay between the host immune system and tumour microenvironment in three-dimensional space. This work aims to provide an in silico framework to predict patient-specific response to immunotherapy and help design new engineering-based approaches that harness the patient's immune system.

Freddy Richards

Freddy Richards - Understanding the role of PARPs in the response to replication stress

My project aims to further understanding of how the ADP-ribosylation of proteins involved in DNA damage repair pathways affects the ability of cells to overcome replication stress and faithfully duplicate DNA.
Komal Yasmin

Komal Yasmin  - Investigating epigenetic mechanism for differential CpG Island methylation during X inactivation in mammals

X chromosome inactivation (XCI) in female mammals requires DNA methylation at CpG Islands, carried out by cell’s denovo DNA methyl transferases (Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b); one of which, Dnmt3b, is indispensable for CpG Island methylation during XCI. For my DPhil project I aim to investigate what imparts Dnmt3b this specificity for inactive X chromosome as opposed to a very similar homologue Dnmt3a.


Kostantinos Klaourakis

Konstantinos Klaourakis - Investigating macrophage-lymphatic vessel interactions in the neonatal mouse model of heart regeneration

I am investigating the functional interactions between cardiac lymphatic vessels and macrophages after heart attack in the neonatal mouse heart. The outcome of this project will contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms governing cardiac repair and regeneration following heart injury and may lead to novel therapeutic avenues for patients suffering from heart disease.

Rosa Stolper

Rosa Stolper - Studying CTCF binding sites at the α-globin locus

CTCF plays a critical role in gene expression regulation by blocking aberrant promoter-enhancer interactions and by acting as a boundary between active and inactive chromatin domains. In my project I use the well-studied α-globin locus to unravel how different CTCF binding sites can function as an insulator.

2018 Cohort

Iona Manley

Iona Manley - Understanding the regulation and control of the cell cycle

I am interested in understanding how the cell cycle is regulated to ensure accurate segregation of a cell into two daughter cells.   In particular, I hope to research how the cell monitors and controls each individual stage, for example regulation of organelle duplication and the spindle assembly checkpoint.

Joe Blaney

Joe Blaney - Novel genome egineering tools.

I am particularly interested in design and generation of novel genome and transcriptome engineering tools. My rotations throughout the first year of the program haven been diverse and have allowed me to develop skills with a range of tools, including CRISPR, NGS, and an array of classical biochemistry techniques.

Chloe Tubman

Chloe Tubman

I am interested in using a combination of cellular and biochemical approaches to characterise pathways involved in development and disease.



Nicole Liew -            Fundamental cell biology and microscopy

Nicole is currently pursuing a rotation project with Clive Wilson to understand how GAPDH is involved in the formation and maintenance of dense core granules (DCGs). Secondary cells emerge as an indispensable tool for Drosophila geneticists due to their optical accessibility, enabling efficient visual analysis of knockdown phenotypes. This allows us to gain novel insight into the elusive intraluminal structure and formation of DCGs, which have long been implicated in impaired exosome secretion from these compartments in various cell types.

Alexandra Bisia

Alexandra Bisia - Developmental and regenerative mechanisms

During my first year, I have rotated in the Robertson lab, working on Prdm1, a gene involved in early mouse embryonic development, in the Higgs lab, where I carried out a project on the interspecies conservation of the alpha globin-containing chromatin domain, and in the Riley lab, working on heart tissue regeneration after injury in the mouse. My interests include developmental and regenerative mechanisms, as well as imaging.