... understanding life in molecular detail

Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD Programme

Student achievements

Cell biology

Students undertake challenging PhD projects at the cutting edge of biomedical research. This work leads to publications in high profile journals. In additon students take part in major international conferences and have won many prizes for poster and oral presentations. Previous students have gone on to success in obtaining their own prestigious postdoctoral fellowships

A few examples of papers and prizes from the last few years are illustrated below:


  • Stuart Kyle MEng (Hons) PhD MBChB (Hons). After his PhD Stuart undertook a medical degree and is now a Clinical Lecturer in Plastic Surgery & Resident Surgical Officer at Swansea University.
  • Diana Monteiro Oral presentation prize at PPI-Net Young Researchers Symposium 2014 held at Imperial College London
  • Dan Hurdiss Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year 2017 Award of the Society of General Microbiology
  • Sophie Schumann Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year 2013 Award of the Society of General Microbiology
  • Bryony Yorke PDB poster prize at the American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting 2011
  • Jo Rushworth (nee Humphrey) FASEB conference prize at the FASEB summer conference Colorado 2011
  • Toshana Foster Best postgraduate presentation at the 8th UK meeting on the Biology and Pathology of Hepatitis C virus (May 2010)
  • Alexander Borodavka obtained a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship following his PhD. He is now studying the highly efficient mechanism of double-stranded RNA packaged into rotavirus virions.
  • Thomas Jahn obtained a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship following his PhD. He is now a Junior Research Group Leader at the German Cancer Research Centre
  • Chris Cordier obtained a prestigious Herschel Smith postdoctoral fellowship to study at the University of Cambridge following his PhD. He is now a Royal Society University Research Fellow (2013-2018) and began his independent research at Imperial College in January 2013.
  • Anthony Roberts obtained a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship following his PhD to study at Harvard University, USA. In 2014 he returned to the UK and is now a Sir Henry Dale Fellow and Group Leader at the Institute of Structural & Molecular Biology (ISMB) at Birkbeck /UCL London. In March 2015 he was awarded the Biochemical Society Early Career Research Award in Molecular Structure and Function

Selected Publications

  • "pH-induced molecular shedding drives the formation of amyloid fibril-derived oligomers." (2015) Tipping, K.W., Karamanos, T.K., Jakhria, T., Iadanza, M.G., Goodchild, S.C., Tuma, R., Ranson, N.A., Hewitt, E.W., Radford, S.E. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.112 5691-6.
  • "Mechanisms of assembly and genome packaging in an RNA virus revealed by high-resolution cryo-EM." (2015) Hesketh, E.L., Meshcheriakova, Y., Dent, K.C., Saxena, P., Thompson, R.F., Cockburn, J.J., Lomonossoff, G.P., Ranson, N.A. Nature Commun2105 Dec 10;6:10113. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10113.
  • "Time-resolved crystallography using the Hadamard transform" (2014) Yorke, B.A., Beddard, G.S., Owen, R.L., Pearson, A.R. Nature Methods11 1131-1134.
  • "A Protein-Based Pentavalent Inhibitor of the Cholera Toxin B-Subunit" (2014) Branson, T.R., McAllister, T.E., Garcia-Hartjes, J., Fascione, M.A., Ross, J.F., Warriner, S.L., Wennekes, T., Zuilhof, H., Turnbull, W.B. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition53 8323-8327.
  • "The hepatitis B virus preS1 domain hijacks host trafficking proteins by motif mimicry" (2013) Juergens, M.C., Voeroes, J., Rautureau, G.J.P., Shepherd, D.A., Pye, V.E., Muldoon, J., Johnson, C.M., Ashcroft, A.E., Freund, S.M.V., Ferguson, N. Nature Chemical Biology9 540-.
  • "Functions and mechanics of dynein motor proteins" (2013) Roberts, A.J., Kon, T., Knight, P.J., Sutoh, K., Burgess, S.A. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology14 713-726.
  • "Isolation of an asymmetric RNA uncoating intermediate for a single-stranded RNA plant virus." (2012) Bakker, S. E., R. J. Ford, A. M. Barker, J. Robottom, K. Saunders, A. R. Pearson, N. A. Ranson and P. G. Stockley. J. Mol. Biol. 417(1-2): 65-78.
  • "Viral Genomic Single-Stranded RNA Directs the Pathway Toward a T=3 Capsid." (2010) Basnak, G., V. L. Morton, O. Rolfsson, N. J. Stonehouse, A. E. Ashcroft and P. G. Stockley. J. Mol. Biol. 395(5): 924-936.
  • "Structural Insights into Substrate Specificity in Variants of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid Lyase Produced by Directed Evolution." (2010) Campeotto, I., A. H. Bolt, T. A. Harman, C. Dennis, C. H. Trinh, S. E. V. Phillips, A. Nelson, A. R. Pearson and A. Berry. J. Mol. Biol. 404(1): 56-69.
  • "The Oligomeric State and Arrangement of the Active Bacterial Translocon." (2011) Deville, K., V. A. M. Gold, A. Robson, S. Whitehouse, R. B. Sessions, S. A. Baldwin, S. E. Radford and I. Collinson. J. Biol. Chem. 286(6): 4659-4669.
  • "Cyclophilin A Interacts with Domain II of Hepatitis C Virus NS5A and Stimulates RNA Binding in an Isomerase-Dependent Manner."(2011) Foster, T. L., P. Gallay, N. J. Stonehouse and M. Harris. J. Virol. 85(14): 7460-7464.
  • "Resistance Mutations Define Specific Antiviral Effects for Inhibitors of the Hepatitis C Virus p7 Ion Channel." (2011) Foster, T. L., M. Verow, A. L. Wozniak, M. J. Bentham, J. Thompson, E. Atkins, S. A. Weinman, C. Fishwick, R. Foster, M. Harris and S. Griffin. Hepatology54(1): 79-90.
  • "Soluble, Fibrillar Amyloid-beta Oligomers Bind to the Cellular Prion Protein and Reduce its Cell Surface Expression." (2010) Humphrey, J. V. and N. M. Hooper Prion 4(3): 187-187.
  • "The transition state for folding of an outer membrane protein." (2010) Huysmans, G. H. M., S. A. Baldwin, D. J. Brockwell and S. E. Radford. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107(9): 4099-4104.
  • "Malleability of the folding mechanism of the outer membrane protein PagP: Parallel pathways and the effect of membrane elasticity." (2012) Huysmans, G. H. M., S. E. Radford, S. A. Baldwin and D. J. Brockwell. J. Mol. Biol.416 (3): 453-464.
  • "An Interaction between KSHV ORF57 and UIF Provides mRNA-Adaptor Redundancy in Herpesvirus Intronless mRNA Export." (2011) Jackson, B. R., J. R. Boyne, M. Noerenberg, A. Taylor, G. M. Hautbergue, M. J. Walsh, R. Wheat, D. J. Blackbourn, S. A. Wilson and A. Whitehouse. Plos Pathogens 7(7).
  • "Kinked beta-strands mediate high-affinity recognition of mRNA targets by the germ-cell regulator DAZL." (2011) Jenkins, H. T., B. Malkova and T. A. Edwards. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA108(45): 18266-18271.
  • "Characterization of the Response of Primary Cells Relevant to Dialysis-Related Amyloidosis to beta(2)-Microglobulin Monomer and Fibrils." (2011) Porter, M. Y., K. E. Routledge, S. E. Radford and E. W. Hewitt. Plos One6 (11).
  • "Single-Molecule Studies of the Im7 Folding Landscape." (2010) Pugh, S. D., C. Gell, D. A. Smith, S. E. Radford and D. J. Brockwell. J. Mol. Biol.398 (1): 132-145.
  • "Exploring the Roles of the Metal Ions in Escherichia coli Copper Amine Oxidase." (2010) Smith, M. A., P. Pirrat, A. R. Pearson, C. R. P. Kurtis, C. H. Trinh, T. G. Gaule, P. F. Knowles, S. E. V. Phillips and M. J. McPherson. Biochemistry49 (6): 1268-1280.
  • "Mutation of a C-Terminal Motif Affects Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 RNA Binding, Nuclear Trafficking, and Multimerization." (2011) Taylor, A., B. R. Jackson, M. Noerenberg, D. J. Hughes, J. R. Boyne, M. Verow, M. Harris and A. Whitehouse. J. Virol. 85(15): 7881-7891.
  • "Phosphorylation as a tool to modulate aggregation propensity and to predict fibril architecture." (2012) Valette, N. M., S. E. Radford, S. A. Harris and S. L. Warriner. Chembiochem 13(2): 271-281.