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Research Group

Cell and Developmental Biology

Rounded shapes and chemistry structures.

We research how cells become specialised, communicate with each other and respond to the environment, leading to an impact on the development of cancer, neurological diseases and the function of the immune system.


Our research provides a natural training environment for the next generation of scientists by combining molecular, biochemical, gene editing and imaging approaches with structural biology. This enables advanced investigations into the complex mechanisms of fundamental biology.

We pursue a range of interests including:

  • the molecular organisation of proteins and nucleic acids
  • cell signalling pathways controlling gene expression, autophagy and cell growth
  • mechanisms of chromosome segregation
  • the structure and function of the immune system, plant growth and environmental interactions
  • membrane proteins and cellular function 

Our research provides experimental platforms to collaborate with other researchers in other areas. For instance, we work with our colleagues in medicine to exploit structural and functional studies on how cancer cells evade the immune system.

Research highlights

People, projects and publications


Dr Angus Wann PhD

Associate Professor in Cell Physiology

Research interests

  • Mechanobiology
  • Primary Cilia
  • Developing developmental engineering approaches to tissue biology 

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Claire Clarkin

Assoc Prof in Develpmtl & Skeltl Biology
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Dr Daniel Kaganovich

Associate Professor of Neurobiology
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Dr David Tumbarello

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Research interests

  • Membrane Trafficking
  • Autophagy
  • Mitochondrial Quality Control

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Emily Gwyer Findlay MSci PhD FHEA

Assoc Professor in Biomedical Sciences

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Joern Werner

Reader in Structural Biology
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Professor Karen Lillycrop

Professor of Epigenetics

Research interests

  • Epigenetics
  • Human Disease
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Dr Marcin Przewloka

Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Neil Smyth

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Dr Nicole Prior


Accepting applications from PhD students

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I am a T cell immunologist. I am interested in how early innate immune responses - particularly neutrophil infiltration and antimicrobial peptide production - affect T cell differentiation and function.
Assoc Professor in Biomedical Sciences