... understanding life in molecular detail

The Radford and Brockwell Research Groups

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Group Leader - Prof. Sheena E. Radford, FMedSci FRS
Research Interests: Protein Folding and Misfolding.
BSc in Biochemistry, University of Birmingham; PhD Biochemistry, University of Cambridge; Royal Society University Research Fellow (Protein Folding) in the Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences; University Lecturer in the School of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Leeds; Reader in Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds; Professor of Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds.

Contact details:
Astbury Centre of Structural Molecular Biology, Garstang Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT
Tel: 0113 343 3170; FAX: 0113 343 3167;
email: s.e.radford@leeds.ac.uk

Current Group Members

Our support team
Helen McAllister
Helen is Prof Radford's PA. She organises the group and keeps everything coordinated. She can be contacted on h.mcallister@leeds.ac.uk 0113 343 7036
Helen McAllister
Nasir Khan
Nasir joined the group in 2010 as our lab manager. He keeps the lab running smoothly and hence is a key member of our research team. He has excellent skills in maintaining and developing our excellent equipment base and also works as the facility manager for the CD facility.
Nasir Khan
The Amyloid Team
Amyloid team
Atenas Posada Borbon
Atenas joined the group in 2016 and is jointly supervised by Dr Eric Hewitt. She joined us funded by a Mexican Fellowship having completed a Masters in Neuroscience from the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. Continuing her interests in amyloid pathology she is investigating how cells respond to the presence of Aβ aggregates.
Atenas Posada Borbon
Chalmers Chau
Chalmers is a self-funded PhD student working on a project to use the nano-pippette to introduce amyloid intermediates into cells so as to study their biological effects. His project is co-supervised with Dr Eric Hewitt and Dr Paolo Actis (School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering). He started in 2017 having completed a BSc at Imperial College, London.
Chalmers Chau
Dr Martin Walko
Martin joined the group in 2017 funded by EPSRC. His project is collaborative with Prof Andy Wilson (Chemistry), Prof Alison Ashcroft (mass spec) and Dr Eric Hewitt (cell biology). Martin's synthetic chemistry skills are being used to synthesise Aβ40/42 containing amino acids modified by cross linkers. His project aims to determine the structure and toxicity of Aβ aggregation intermediates.
Dr Martin Walko
Dr Nicolas Guthertz
Nicolas joined the group in August 2017 having completed his PhD at ICR in London. His skills in protein crystallography and protein-ligand interactions are now being applied to biochemical and kinetic analysis of the early stages in the aggregation of β2-microglobulin and amylin. He is funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Dr Nicolas Guthertz
Dr Roberto Maya Martinez
Roberto joined the group in 2018 bringing skills in NMR to the group. He is funded by The Wellcome Trust and is investigating the mechanism of aggregation of proteins into amyloid and how this can be arrested using small molecules or protein affimers. He held previous positions at Grenoble in NMR having undertaken his PhD in Mexico.
Dr Roberto Maya Martinez
Dr Rodrigo Gallardo
Rodrigo is a structrual biologist and biophysicist who joined the group in 2018, completing the amyloid team funded by The Wellcome Trust. He brings significant expertise in amyloid structure and formation, having worked previously in the groups of Joost Schymkowitz and Fred Rousseau at the VIB Switch Laboratory, K.U. Leuven. He is working on using cryo-EM and cryo-ET to analyse amyloid structures formed in vitro and in vivo, making full use of our two Titan Krios EMs in the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory.
Dr Rodrigo Gallardo
Dr Yong Xu
Yong brings skills in medicinal chemistry to the group and is part of the amyloid team funded by The Wellcome Trust. He completed his PhD at Imperial College London. He is screening and designing small molecules able to arrest amyloid formation at different stages of assembly.
Dr Yong Xu
Emily Byrd
Emily is doing her PhD in biological mass spectrometry of protein aggregation, focussing on alpha-synuclein. Using ion-mobility, hydrogen exchange, lignad binding, mutagenesis, and rapid cross linking, she is using MS methods to elucidate how and why alpha synuclein aggregates in Parkinson's disease. She is co-supervised by Prof Frank Sobott and funded by our White Rose BBSRC DTP. She joined in 2019.
Emily Byrd
Madeline Brown
Maddie joined our group in October 2017 funded on a MRC DTP PhD studentship. Cell biology of amyloidosis, specifically how different polymorphs affect cells, is the topic of her PhD. She is co-supervised by Dr Eric Hewitt.
Madeline Brown
Michael Davies
Michael is a PhD student funded by the BBSRC White Rose DTP who started in the lab in October 2016. Co-supervised by Dr Eric Hewitt, his project focusses on the cell biology of amyloidosis, particularly how cells respond to the presnce of oligomeric and fibrillar aggregates. He joined us having completed his BSc in Veterinary Science at the Royal Veterinary College.
Michael Davies
Sabine Ulamec
Sabine is funded by the Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD programme and has chosen to study the mechanism of amyloid formation for her PhD project. She joined the group for her PhD project in summer 2018 and is co-supervised by David Brockwell. Using NMR, kinetic analyses and cryo-EM her project aims to map how α-synuclein forms amyloid in molecular detail.
Sabine Ulamec
Sarah Good
Sarah started as a PhD student in October 2016 having graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Leeds. She is funded by the BBSRC White Rose DTP. Co-supervised by Dr Patricija vanOosten-Hawle she will bring expertise in using C. elegans as a model for amyloid disease and its inhibition using small molecules and other strategies.
Sarah Good
The OMP Team
OMP team
Dr Matt Watson
Funded by BBSRC, Matt is our expert in single molecule FRET. Working collaboratively with Profs Roman Tuma (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic) and Ian Collinson (University of Bristol) Matt is investigating the mechanism of action of SecYEG and how BAM catalyses OMP folding.
Dr Matt Watson
Dr Paul White
Paul graduated from the University of Leeds in Biochemistry and then undertook a DPhil in structural biology at the University of Oxford funded by the Wellcome Trust. He joined the group in November 2017. Working alongside Matt Iadanza and the OMP team, Paul's project is to elucidate structural insights into how BAM folds OMPs into the outer membrane. He is funded on a MRC programme grant jointly with Prof Neil Ranson.
Dr Paul White
Dr Robert Schiffrin
Bob graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds in July 2012 and joined the group as a PhD student to study the mechanisms of outer membrane protein folding and the involvement of molecular chaperones in this process. Jointly supervised by Dr David Brockwell, he is now a postdoc funded by BBSRC and is studying the molecular mechanism of BAM using a suite of biophysical approaches.
Dr Robert Schiffrin
James Whitehouse
James joined the group in Oct 2018 having graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham. Funded by a large EOS grant with colleague in Belgium, James has joined our OMP-team, and his project will investigate the mechanism of folding and chaperoning of OMPs into the bacterial outer membrane catalysed by BAM
James Whitehouse
Sam Haysom
Sam joined the lab in Oct 2018 having completed his BSc in Biochemistry at the University of York. Funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP, he is co-supervised by Prof Neil Ranson and is working on the structure and functional dynamics of the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) in the biogenesis of the bacterial cell envelop using cryo-EM.
Sam Haysom
The Biologics Team
Biologics team
Alex Page
Joining the group in 2019 from The University of Sheffield and funded by a BBSRC CTP with Astra Zeneca, Alex is investigating how flow causes proteins to misfold and aggregate. Combining flow mechanics with fluorescence and other biophysical techniques his project aims to delineate an atomic model for flow-induced protein misfolding. He is jointly supervised with Dr David Brockwell.
Alex Page
Dr Leon Willis
Leon joined the 'Biologics' team in 2014 when he commenced his EPSRC-funded PhD supervised jointly with David Brockwell and Nic Kapur. Leon currently holds an EPSRC doctoral Fellowship and is co-funded by AstraZeneca. He is continuing his fundamental studies of how and why flow causes proteins to aggregate
Dr Leon Willis
Ioanna Panagi
Ioanna is a PhD student funded by the BBSRC working with Nik Kapur in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Ioanna is bringing her skills in fluid dynamics to the group. Her project is also co-supervised by Dr David Brockwell and will build novel devices and surfaces to help elucidate how, and why, flow causes proteins to aggregate. She joined the group in October 2017 having completed a BSc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds.
Ioanna Panagi
Jessica Ebo
Jess started as a PhD student in the lab in October 2016 after graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds. She is a BBSRC iCASE student with Medimmune. Co-supervised with Dr David Brockwell she is developing new assays for evolving proteins as better biologics with enhanced bioprocessing properties.
Jessica Ebo
Maia Harvey
We have developed a split β-lactamase system to evolve proteins with enhanced stability or to reduce their aggregation propensity. Funded on the BBSRC White Rose DTP from October 2017, and co-supervised by Drs David Brockwell and Darren Tomlinson, Maia's project will develop the system further to screen for modulators of protein-protein interactions in vivo.
Maia Harvey
Romany McLure
Romany joined the group in Oct 2018, funded on a BBSRC CASE award in partnership with UCB. She is co-supervised by David Brockwell. He research focus is to use evolutionary methods to explore the relationship between protein sequence and aggregation, with a focus on biopharmaceuticals. She joined us having completed her BSc at the University of Newcastle.
Romany McLure
Sammy Lawrence
Sammy is working with Sheena Radford, David Brockwell and Nic Kapur investigating how flow causes proteins to aggregate with a focus on antibodies and antibody-like molecules. She is funded by the BBSRC on a CASE award with Medimmune plc and her project will focus on the use of advanced mass spectrometric methods to interrogate how proteins unfold under flow.
Sammy Lawrence

Associated with the Group

Dr David Brockwell
David is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Biological Sciences and a member of the Astbury Centre. More information can be found at http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/Brockwell_DJ/
Dr David Brockwell

Past Group Members - where are they now?

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We would like to thank the following organisations for the funds to support our research:
BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, and The University of Leeds.