Centre for Biological Sciences

Research Group: Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Our Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Research Group seeks to understand the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin basic biological processes.

These include:

  • the structures and interactions of biological molecules;
  • the signals between and within cells;
  • the mechanisms by which cells become specialised and respond to the environment; and
  • understanding how cellular/molecular processes relate to health and disease.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

The Cellular and Molecular Biosciences staff pursue a range of externally-funded projects within five broad research themes: the molecular organisation of proteins and nucleic acids; developmental biology and its influence on adult health and disease; cell signalling pathways controlling gene expression, cell growth and cell division; plant growth and environmental interactions; membrane proteins and cellular function.

We collaborate closely with researchers across the University and with investigators around the world. For example, we work with physical scientists and engineers to investigate biomolecules as substrates for the production of novel materials and our joint projects with staff in Medicine aim to understand the origins of disease.

Within the School of Biological Sciences, we have a wealth of modern facilities. We are well equipped for structural (X-ray and NMR) and biophysical studies of proteins and nucleic acids and have a superb Proteomics facility which includes a range of state-of-the-art mass spectrometers. The Bioimaging Facility comprises a range of modern microscopes including confocal and multiphoton instruments, allowing the use of Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy techniques.

We are housed within the new, purpose-built Life Sciences Building on the University's Highfield campus and at the Southampton General Hospital campus.

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Principle Investigators (PI)

Dr Mark Coldwell: PI Cellular and molecular biosciences
Dr Katrin Deinhardt: PI Cellular Neurobiology
Professor Malcolm East: PI Membrane proteins
Professor Keith Fox: PI Nucleic Acids
Dr Haruko Okamoto: PI Plant Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry
Dr Paul Skipp: PI Proteomics
Dr Ivo Tews: PI Protein interactions & cell membranes
Dr Jeremy Webb: PI Microbial biofilms
Dr Joern Werner: PI Protein-ligand interactions
Dr Herman Wijnen Associate Professor: PI Biological timing
Dr Phil Williamson: PI Structural biology and biological membranes
Dr Lorraine Williams: PI Membrane transporters


Members of staff associated with this group:

Research projects

Research projects associated with this group:

DNA sequence recognition by triple helix formation

Calcium Pumps and Thermogenesis

Grant - Charting Intercellular Space

Integrated in silico prediction of protein-protein interaction motifs

Genetic diversification in a multi-species bacterial biofilm community

Understanding the role of lipid-protein interactions in the intracellular localisation of proteins and its role in muscular dystrophy.

Extending the boundaries of nucleic acid chemistry

Antimicrobial copper: Biocidal efficacy and killing mechanism of copper and copper alloy dry surfaces against bacterial and viral pathogens

Plastid-to-nucleus signalling in plants

Epigenetic mechanisms in metabolic bone disease: from pathology to biomarker

Effect of folic acid supplementation during the life course on cancer susceptibility

Structure and Function of Membrane Proteins

Calcium Pump Targeting

Environmental Healthcare Unit Consultancy

Development of novel methods to assess the viability and infectivity of pathogens in biofilms found in drinking water supply systems.

Role of membrane transporters in light-regulated seedling development

Improving solar conversion efficiency in marine microalgae

Epigenetic mechanisms and the developmental origins of health and disease

Rapid assessment of surface contamination and decontamination efficacy

Development of endoscope decontamination procedures

Circadian Developmental Requirements

Identification of novel crustacean pathogen receptor proteins

Differentiation therapy and cancer

Physiological role of sucrose and amino acid permeases in higher plants

Characterisation of glycosyltransferases functioning during the synthesis of the secondary cell wall hemicellulose glucuronoxylan

Biofouling control for in-situ lab-on-a-chip environmental sensors

Roles of the Mnks (MAP kinase-activated protein kinases) in cell physiology

Anionic lipids in cell signalling: a mechanism for the modulation of ABC multidrug transporters

Light regulation of chloroplast development and tetrapyrrole synthesis

DNA quadruplexes and their interaction with ligands

Dispersal of Biofilm in Cystic Fibrosis using Low Dose Nitric Oxide

Structure, function and regulation of eukaryotic initiation factor eIF2B

Identification of perinatal epigenetic markers of later phenotype

Temperature entrainment of the molecular circadian clock circuits in Drosophila

Interactome-wide prediction of short linear protein interaction motifs in humans

Consequences of early embryo environment

Role of Pax-3 in sensory neurogenesis

Calcium ATPases - role in calcium homeostasis and signalling

Understanding the role of serum amyloid-P component in the stabilization of amyloid deposits

Structure, function and regulation of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K)

Modifying Uracil DNA Glycosylase

Light regulation of amino acid uptake in marine cyanobacteria

Transcriptome-wide prediction of eukaryotic translation initiation

BioliSME II: Demonstration, validation and preliminary promotion of a commercial prototype speedy system for sampling and detecting Listeria monocytogenes

Global transcriptomic responses to parasitism

Label-free spectroscopy for diagnosing and monitoring AD

Control of Drosophila circadian behaviour by the RHO1-signalling pathway

Dissecting pathways involved in Manganese homeostasis and stress in higher plant cells

Maternal mechanisms induced by diet regulating embryo developmental plasticity affecting life-long health

DNA sequence recognition by small molecules

Physiological role of sucrose and amino acid permeases in higher plants

SecurEau – Security and decontamination of drinking water distribution systems following a deliberate contamination event.

Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) for the decontamination of reusable surgical instruments

The role of nitric oxide in the control of biofilm and zoonotic pathogen colonisation of the salad phylloplane

Structural basis of the elongation factor 2 kinase (EF2K) activation by Calcium/Calmodulin

Regulation of ribosome biogenesis

Molecular mechanisms controlling heart cells proteins synthesis and cardiac hypertrophy

Investigating the role of membranes on protein aggregation and neurotoxicity of the huntingtin protein.

Modifying nucleic acid nanostructures by triplex formation

Postgraduate opportunities

If you are interested in joining us either to study or to become part of our research team please select the relevant link below for further information.

Funded PhD Opportunities

Current job vacancies at the University of Southampton