Professor Andy Wilson is the Principal Investigator leading the BBSRC/sLoLa Grant. He is a recognised leader in Supramolecular Chemical Biology. Andy joined The University of Leeds in 2004 and was promoted to Professor in 2012. In 2023 Andy joined The University of Birmingham as Professor of Chemical Biology. Andy has been recognised internationally by the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry Young Academic Scheme (2012), through the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Bob Hay Lectureship (2012) and the RSC Norman Heatley Award (2016). Andy’s research focuses on using synthetic molecules to understand and control molecular recognition and self-assembly. His group’s multidisciplinary approach is applied to problems in Chemical Biology and Materials Science with a strong emphasis on inhibiting protein-protein interactions.
Professor Richard Bayliss studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and completed his PhD in molecular biology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 2000. He trained as an EMBO Long Term Fellow in the laboratory of Elena Conti at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and then with Gabriel Waksman at Birkbeck College, London. He was appointed to a Royal Society Research Fellowship at the Institute of Cancer Research in London in 2006 and then relocated to the University of Leicester in 2011, becoming a Professor in 2014. In 2016, Richard relocated to The University of Leeds to take up his current position as a Professor in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
Dr Fanni Gergely is a Senior Group Leader at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford. Originally from Hungary, she completed her PhD in 2001 on mechanisms of mitotic spindle assembly (Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge). Funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, her postdoctoral research focused on subcellular trafficking of calcium channels before returning to the topic of mitosis. In 2006, Gergely established her team at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute to study the molecular mechanisms responsible for cell cycle control and genome integrity and the breakdown of these processes in human pathologies. She became a tenured faculty member in 2012 and was elected to EMBO in 2019. She moved to Oxford in 2020.
Professor Colin Johnson is Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics at The University of Leeds. Colin has research interests in the genetics of rare disorders, for which he has been recognized through the prestigious Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research (2011). In collaboration with the Vision Research Group, Colin is now developing methodologies to interpret variant pathogenicity and cellular disease models using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and retinal cell-types derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. A second research area has developed from Colin’s interest in ciliopathies, an important group of developmental disorders that arise from defects in the structure or function of the primary cilium and basal body. It focuses on molecular mechanisms of cilia formation and the organization of sub-structures within the cilium using functional genomics.
Dr Takashi Ochi is a structural biologist at The University of Leeds. He graduated from the Department of Physics at Keio University, Japan, where he also completed his master’s degree and studied biophysics and protein crystallography. Takashi then undertook a PhD degree under the supervision of Prof. Sir Tom Blundell at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge. He completed his postdoctoral training in Prof. Blundell’s and Dr Mark van Breugel’s lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Takashi’s research focuses on determining the structure of the centriole / basal body to understand the roles of the organelles in different tissues and disease states.
Professor Sheena Radford, OBE, FRS, FMedSci, MAE, leads a laboratory with 30 members, working mainly on amyloid proteins and outer membrane proteins. She has published over 300 papers/book chapters, given over 400 invited lectures worldwide, and supervised more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows. She is now Astbury Professor of Biophysics and the Director of the highly successful interdisciplinary Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology (both at The University of Leeds).
Dr Darren Tomlinson studied for a PhD in developmental biology at The University of Edinburgh, then moved to The University of Leeds and worked as a PDRA studying the function of growth factor receptors in cancer. In 2010 he set up two facilities – an siRNA screening facility and a facility to produce non-antibody binding proteins called Affimers. In 2015 Darren became a University Academic Fellow at Leeds to build a research group to fully exploit the use of Affimers for studying protein function. In 2018 he was promoted to Associate Professor.
Dr Megan Wright is a University Academic Fellow at The University of Leeds, whose research focuses on developing chemical proteomic tools to understand biological mechanism. Megan established her independent group in 2016, following a PhD at Imperial College London and Marie Curie Fellowship at TU Munich. She was recently awarded an ACS Infectious Diseases Young Investigator Award 2019. Megan leads a team of chemical biologists designing small molecule probes and applying these to detect and manipulate the interactions and modifications of proteins in living cells.