The LSI is a community of some 200 talented PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and principal investigators from around the world supported by excellent professional services staff. We collaborate to generate exciting discoveries and create new knowledge. Diversity is a major strength that enriches our science and our culture. Our vibrant and inclusive research environment is underpinned by dynamic PhD student and post-doc networks.
Working on various types of projects involving the employment of droplet microfluidic technology for the development of high-throughput screening platforms for molecular and cellular assays with special emphasis on single cell studies, 3D cultures, drug screening, directed evolution and machine learning.
I graduated from the University of the West of England with a first class Master of Research in applied sciences. My masters degree research project focused on the biochemical inhibition of splice factors within cancer cell lines. This research demonstrated the importance of indirect inhibition through major signalling pathways, such as MAPK, on cellular stability. This sparked my interest in cell signalling which led me to undertake a PhD within this area.
My PhD research, supervised by Dr Steffen Scholpp, investigates the role of morphogens for cellular communication within embryonic development. I am researching a key morphogen called Wnt and the importance of calcium influx in its signalling and dissemination. This will be done initially through in vitro methods and then expanded in vivo within zebrafish.
Michael graduated from the University of Reading in 2018 with a BSc Biochemistry degree and an MRes in Cardiff University for Bioscience in 2020. During studies and research, he developed a passion for cell-cell communication and intracellular signalling. At the Trevor Dale lab, Cardiff, Michael worked on Wnt signalling and liver zonation.
Michael’s PhD focuses on developing and optimising a assay for the labelling and subsequent extraction of Wnt interacting proteins partners along and on the tip of specialised cell filopodia termed cytonemes. Developing this non-biased assay will be crucial in understanding the full proteome responsible for our understanding in the initiation, elongation, stabilisation and handover of Wnt along these highly fragile and transient structures, and will help elucidate the importance of such structures in development and disease. Protein hits of this assay will be further characterised through functional analysis and FCS to elucidate Wnt-receptor binding affinities.
Under the supervision of Prof Steffen Scholpp and Prof Christian Soeller at the Living Systems Institute in Exeter, Michael focuses his PhD project on quantifying the molecular affinities between Wnt signalling proteins and their target cell surface receptors.
Imogen is a Biomedical Physics PhD student in the Living Systems Institute. She started at the university as a Research Technician and is now working towards a PhD on Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy.
Samuel Kraus is a PhD Student, working with the Pagliara Group in the LSI, Exeter, funded by the QUEX Institute.
He is interested in understanding the interaction of Bacteriophage and Burkholderia bacteria, focussing on the potential of combining Bacteriophage with established, clinically relevant Antibiotics in combination therapies as an approach to combat AMR.
I am a doctoral student at Nanyang Technological University and working in the Translational Respiratory Research Lab at LKCMedicine. I received my dual BS-MS degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. I specialised in pure mathematics and joined NTU as a part of NTU-Exeter programme in July 2019. My research work focuses on bridging the gap between math and the medical sciences by developing novel data analysis techniques that build on concepts of mathematics and statistical learning to better analyse medical datasets. In particular, I work with microbiome datasets from the airway, to better understand chronic respiratory diseases such as bronchiectasis, COPD and asthma at an individual level for patient stratification and precision medicine. I employ mathematical techniques, involving modelling, data integration and machine learning for precision medicine. This may lead to a possible translation into clinical practice as a experimentally supported and interpretable tool to risk stratify patients based on their microbiome datasets. As a pure mathematics student, I developed a keen interest and fascination with the application of mathematical concepts in biology and medicine. Against the backdrop of increasingly data-driven medicine, I feel there is an urgent need for the development and application of novel analytical approaches to efficiently handle complex biological datasets towards personalized medicine and improved clinical outcomes in respiratory medicine.
NC3Rs Training fellow working to develop genetic tools for the non-mammalian infection model Galleria mellonella
Karina Scholpp is the Senior Administrator in the LSI, where she supports the LSI Director and the LSI Business Manager since January 2019. After gaining an postgraduate degree in Hydro- and Engineering Geology (Diplom Geoplogist) at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, she started her career as a Hydrogeologist in Dresden. Upon moving to London in 2004, she worked as a Hydro- and Engineering Geologist for a consulting company in St. Albans, UK. On returning to Germany, she spent six years in Higher Education as co-ordinator for a research network for junior group leaders and associate professors at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, before moving to Exeter.
Austin’s research interest is stem cell biology and in particular pluripotent stem cells that harbour the capacity to generate all cell types of the mammalian organism. His group seek to derive universal principles underlying the establishment and progression of pluripotency in diverse mammalian embryos and to reveal network properties that enable long-term self-renewal in vitro of transient in vivo cell states. They also aim to model and dissect in vitro the developmental programme from emergent naïve pluripotency to lineage-committed progenitors. Austin’s research employs a range of approaches from computational modelling to in vivo chimaera studies.
My research interestes lie in the areas of compuational biology, biological physics, and statistical systems biology. I am particularly interested in how living systems at different scales of organisation (from biomolecules to cells to tissues and organs) process information by sensing and responding to external cues. I pursue these questions in the fields of cell biology, endocrinology and neuroendocrinology.