People

Andy Wilson
Professor of Organic Chemistry PhD, BSc (Hons), FRSC, FHEA. Andy received a BSc (Hons) 1st class at The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 1997 and then undertook his PhD in synthetic chemistry with Professor David A. Leigh FRS on ‘The Controlled Synthesis of Interlocked Architectures’, firstly at UMIST then at The University of Warwick, where he graduated in 2001. He started post-doctoral research at Yale University (USA) with Professor Andrew D. Hamilton FRS on the topic of protein surface recognition, followed by further postdoctoral research with Professors E. W. (Bert) Meijer and Rint P. Sijbesma at Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) on the topic of supramolecular polymers. In 2004 he took up his first independent academic position as a Research Lecturer at The University of Leeds, where he was promoted to Professor of Organic Chemistry in 2012 and served as Deputy Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology (2012-2018). Andy led the School of Chemistry Undergraduate Medicinal Chemistry Degree programme (2008-2012) and served as Director of Postgraduate Studies (2009-2012). Andy is also co-director of PPI-Net and served as a working group leader in the EU-COST action on Foldamers (2009-2012). Andy was appointed to the EPSRC Physical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team in 2019 and has served on the RSC Chemical Biology and Bioorganic Chemistry Group since 2019. Andy’s research was recognized internationally by the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry Young Academic Scheme (2012 – runner-up) and through the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Bob Hay Lectureship (2012) and the RSC Norman Heatley Award (2016).

The Wilson Group is an international team proud to have hosted co-workers from nineteen different countries from across the world to date.

 

Amanda Acevedo-Jake
Amanda is a joint postdoctoral research associate with Thomas Edwards focusing on the development and analysis of coiled coil systems for selective recognition, inhibition, and degradation of proteins. She obtained her PhD in 2017 at Rice University working with Prof Jeff Hartgerink on the design and structure of collagen-mimetic peptides. Before joining the Wilson group, she worked on mechanically interlocked mimetic DNA-rotaxanes (University of Southampton, Profs Ali Tavassoli and Stephen Goldup) and then on the design and translational applications of nanofibrous beta sheet hydrogels (New Jersey Institute of Technology, Prof Vivek Kumar).
Diana Gimenez-Ibanez
Diana is a postdoctoral research associate working with Andy Wilson and Megan Wright on the development of new tools to understand and influence protein-protein interactions involving intrinsically disordered regions. Before joining the team in 2021, Diana was a BBSRC research associate at Durham University in Prof. Steven L. Cobb’s group, working on ex-vivo antifungals. Prior to this, Diana completed her PhD in 2019 at Durham University funded through the Marie Curie ITN Fluor21 network on the topic of conformational control of peptoids by means of fluorine and fluorine induced dipolar interactions. Diana was awarded the Biophysical Sciences Institute thesis prize in 2018 for the best thesis, the Durham University Chemistry department Ken Wade award in 2019, and the Berlin Female Young Talent Award of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1349 in 2019. Before coming to the U.K, Diana worked in different technical roles at the University of Valencia and the Institute of Molecular Sciences (Valencia, Spain) where she become engaged with peptides, peptidomimetics and molecular biology techniques.
Eleanor Hilton
Eleanor is a final-year PhD student funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Her collaborative project with Dr Nick warren (School of Chemical and Process Engineering) focuses on reconfigurable polymers using predictable self-sorting cascades. Eleanor studied at the University of Leeds for her MChem, graduating in 2018. Her masters project under the supervision of Dr Paul Thornton investigated the use of poly(amino acids) for drug delivery. After her undergraduate studies, Eleanor spent a year working in industry before returning to the University of Leeds to join the Wilson/Warren groups.
Yasmeen Jhons
Yasmeen is a postdoctoral research associate. She joined in January 2020 to work on a collaborative protect with Dr Nicholas Warren focussing on reconfigurable polymers. Yasmeen graduated in 2016 with a Masters in Chemistry from the University of York where she did a one year placement at Merck working on polymer microcapsules encapsulated with liquid crystals. She has carried out a PhD at the University of Edinburgh with Dr Fabio Nudelman where she investigated the effect of block copolymers in the nucleation of calcium hydroxyapatite. During her PhD she also competed in STEM for Britain 2019.
Michael Jinks
Mike is a postdoctoral research associate who joined us in March 2020 to work on Functional Hydrogen Bonded Systems. Mike graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2013 with a first-class honours Master degree in chemistry. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2017, working on the synthesis of artificial information oligomers utilizing both hydrogen bonding and dynamic covalent bonds, under the supervision of Prof Chris Hunter, FRS. In 2017 he joined the group of Professor Steven Goldup at the University of Southampton, working on the synthesis of mechanically planar chiral interlocked molecules with additional work on TADF active materials, in collaboration with Prof Eli Zysman-Colman at the University of St. Andrews and Dr. Thomas Penfold at the University of Newcastle, and on vibrational circular dichroisim, in collaboration with Prof Wybren Jan Buma at the University of Amsterdam.
Aidan Johnson
Aidan is a second-year PhD student working with Dr Robin Bon and Dr Piruthivi Sukumar, funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP. His project is focused on using chemical biology to study TRPC5 channel regulation in adipocytes. He graduated in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (MSci) from the University of Glasgow in 2018. As part of his Masters, he worked on novel antimicrobial lipopeptides at Utrecht University (NL) and cancer-targeting PROTACs in Glasgow.
Anastasija Kulik
Anastasija is a third-year PhD student working with Dr Jennifer Tomlinson and funded through a Royal Society studentship (Inhibition of a protein-protein interaction mediating antibiotic resistance). Anastasija has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry (University of Huddersfield), as well as, an MRes in Biological Sciences (Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship). Her MRes work focused on structural and biochemical characterization of human genome integrity proteins.
Yue Li
Yue is a second-year PhD student funded by a Leeds-CSC scholarship. Yue received her BSc and MSc from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in 2017 and 2020, respectively. During her Master's project, she worked as a visiting student at the Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology to develop coiled-coil-based MERS-CoV fusion inhibitors. Her PhD project focusses on developing modulators of protein-protein interactions involving short linear motifs (SLiMs), using dynamic combinatorial selection methods and peptidomimetic strategies.
George Preston
George is a Research Fellow working with Andy Wilson and Stuart Warriner. His role involves setting up a platform for chemical proteomics in the School of Chemistry. George did his PhD with Andy Wilson, Alison Ashcroft and Sheena Radford (University of Leeds) on the application of photo-crosslinking to the analysis of amyloid. He went on to work with David H. Phillips (King’s College London) as part of the FP7 EXPOsOMICS project, and then with Tony Whetton and Robert Bristow (University of Manchester) on the use of omics in cancer research. George brings with him experience in biological mass spectrometry.
Amy Rees
Amy joined the Wilson group in October 2017 as its Research Administrator. Amy has over ten years' experience of research administration and support, having worked on various research projects at The University of Leeds and University College London.
Chloe Shingler
Chloe is a first-year PhD student funded through an EPSRC CASE studentship in collaboration with LifeArc. Chloe is co-supervised by Dr Megan Wright and Prof Andrew Wilson and is working on developing chemical tools to study intrinsically disordered protein regions. Chloe graduated from the University of Leeds in 2021 with an MChem in Medicinal Chemistry where she spent a year at Pfizer studying hydrogels as drug delivery systems. For her final year project, Chloe worked in the Nelson group synthesising a library of shape diverse fragment-like molecules using C-H arylation.
Martin Walko
Martin is a senior postdoctoral research associate investigating (i) the development of peptides to understand and modulate protein-protein interactions and (ii) new reagents for protein labelling as part of the BBSRC-funded SPIDR project with Dr Megan Wright. Martin spent his PhD years at the University of Groningen (Nl) under the guidance of Prof Ben L. Feringa working on molecular switches.  Since 2005 he worked as a research at P.J.Safarik University in Kosice (Sl) excerpt for the period 2010-2015 when he studied protein channel opening using chemical biology methods in Groningen.
Peiyu Zhang
Peiyu is a final-year PhD student funded through a Leeds-CSC scholarship. Peiyu obtained his BSc at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in 2016 and then completed his MSc at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in 2019. During his masters project, he worked as a visiting student at Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology to develop peptide-based MERS-CoV fusion inhibitors using all-hydrocarbon stapled peptides. His PhD project is focused on the discovery of protein-protein interaction inhibitors using peptidomimetic approaches.
Jiaxin Zhao
Jiaxin is a first-year PhD student funded by a Leeds-CSC scholarship and working on responsive polymer materials under the joint supervision of Dr Johan Mattsson and Professor Andrew Wilson. Jiaxin received a BSc in Materials Science and Engineering from The University of Jinan in 2018 and an MSc in Materials Engineering from Shandong University in 2021. Jiaxin's research during this period focussed on silicone materials such as silicone resins and silicone rubbers. During his studies Jiaxin worked with the School and Hospital of Stomatology (Shangdong) to develop a new antibacterial self-repairing dental resin. Jiaxin also collaborated with the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Shangdong) to prepare novel chalcone derivatives with bioimaging and apoptosis-promoting properties.

Former co-workers and visitors

Narasimha Ammana MSc 2010
Jon Anderson MSc 2007
Irene Arrata PhD 2013-2017, Driad Research Consultancy, Project Manager (Strasbourg)
Christopher Arter MSc 2017, PhD (Leeds), FDRA (RFI)
Valeria Azzarito PhD 2010-2014, EC Harris
Anna Barnard PDRA 2012-2014, PDRA (E Tate-Imperial), then Independent Fellow and WT Sir Henry Dale Fellow (Imperial)
Alice Bartlett PDRA 2011-2012, European Respiratory Society
Radhika Bava MChem 2012-13, PhD (Chester)
Hester Beard PhD 2014-2018, PDRA (S Verhelst, KU Leuven)
Samuel Bunce PhD 2014- 2018, Trio Medicines Ltd.
George Burslem PhD 2011-2015, PDRA (Craig Crews-Yale), Ass. Prof. (U-Penn)
Liam Calvert Summer Student 2004
Fred Campbell MSc 2005 and PhD 2005-2009, PDRA (H Hailes-UCL), MC IEF (A. Kros, Leiden)
Emma Cawood  PhD 2016-2019 and PDRA 2020, PDRA (Francis Crick Institute) 
Sergio Celis PDRA 2019-2021, PDRA (University of Manchester)
Heather Coubrough Phd 2014-2017, PDRA (Leeds), Development Chemist (Sterling Pharma Solutions Ltd).
Rob Dawber PhD  2019-2022, PDRA (Newcastle University)
Som Dutt PDRA 2017-2019
Martín Estrada Valencia PDRA 2020-2021, PDRA (Bon group, Leeds) 
Bruno Falcone-Pin MSc 2009
Maria Filby PDRA 2008-2011, Proctor and Gamble (Reading) then BCM
Matthew Foulkes PDRA 2018-2020, Senior Scientist in Process Chemistry (AstraZeneca) 
Giorgia Gemminiani Visitor 2011
Katherine Giblin Laidlaw Summer School, 2019-2021
Adam Gooch PhD 2007-2011, Granta Design (Cambridge), Barclays
Belinda Good Summer Student 2011
Stephanie Greed MChem 2017-2018, PhD candidate (Imperial)
Claire Grison PDRA 2016-2017, PDRA (S Granier-Montpellier)
Raquel Gutierrez-Abad PDRA 2014-2015, Unilever
Thomas Harman MSc 2006, PhD (Leeds)
Isabelle Harvey MNatSci 2020-2021, Cambridge Research Biochemicals
Zsofia Hegedus PDRA 2016 and Marie Curie Fellow 2017-2019, Ass. Prof. (Szeged)
Kristina Hetherington Summer Student 2013, MChem 2016-2017, PhD 2017-2021Senior Scientist Keracol Ltd. 
Sarah Hewitt PhD 2013-2017, PDRA, (S Butler-Loughborough)
Fruzsina Hobor PDRA 2017-2021, Domainex Scientist
Kat Horner PDRA 2016-2017, Research and Innovation Manager (Leeds)Project Manager (NIHR), Senior Project Manager (UMI3, Manchester) 
Kelly Houton PhD 2011-2015, DuPont-Tianjin Films
Ryan Hubball MSc 2017, PhD (Leeds)
Portia Hunt MNatSci 2018-2019
Zeynab Imani Visitor 2016, (PhD, Paris-Sud) 
Thomas James PDRA 2016-2018, AstraZeneca Scientist
Aisha Jabeen Syed PDRA 2019-2021, PDRA (Dundee)
Hannah Jarvie MChem 2008-2009
Oliver King MChem 2004-2005
Katrazyna Kluska MSc 2016, PhD candidate (Wrocław) 
Hannah Kyle PhD 2011-2015, Avacta
Emma Liddle MChem 2011-2012, PhD Candidate (Bristol)
Kerya Long PhD 2010-2013
Ayanna Lindsey-Crosthwaite MChem 2017-2018
Naledi Ncube Summer Student 2012
Andrea McGhee PDRA 2007-2008, Chemtura (Manchester), The RSC (Cambridge)
Kate McKnelly MSc 2015, PhD Candidate (UC-Irvine)
Jayapal Malareddy Marie Curie Fellow 2013-2015,
Barbora Malkova WT Rotation Student 2005-2006
Ausrine Marinskaite MChem 2021-2021, LHASA
Stephen Maxwell MChem 2011-2012
Aisling Minard MChem 2013-2014, PhD candidate (Leeds)
Jennifer Miles PDRA 2013-2015, PDRA (Paul Taylor-Leeds) then PDRA (Richard-Bayliss-Leeds) 
James Muldoon MSc 2005 and PhD 2005-2009, Reckitt Benckiser
Natasha Murphy Summer Student 2008, MChem 2008-2009 and PhD 2010-2013, Teacher then LHASA Scientist
James Murray Summer Student 2009, PhD candidate (Leeds)
Shunjie Pan MSc Student 2019
Lindsey Parker Summer Student 2010, PhD candidate (Leeds)
Simon Parker MChem 2014-15
Maria Pellizzaro MChem 2007-2008 and PhD 2008-2012, LHASA Scientist
Ludwig Pilsl PDRA 2014-2015, Patheon Scientist
Jeff Plante PDRA 2006-2009, PDRA (Richard Foster-Leeds) then LHASA Scientist
Georgina Pleasance MChem 2014-2015
Panchami Prabhakaran PDRA 2010-2012, MC IEF (Ivan Huc-Bordeaux)Ass. Prof. (Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar) 
George Preston  MSc 2007 and PhD 2008-2012, PDRA (David Philips-KCL)PDRA (Manchester) 
Pallavi Ramsahye Research Technician 2017-2019, Research Technician (Northern Institute for Cancer Research)
Anjali Reddy MSc 2013
Lisa Renton Summer Student 2007
Suzanne Renwick PhD 2019-2022, Project Manager Capco
Diana Rodriguez Summer Student 2017
Silvia Rodriguez Marin PhD 2011-2016, Everbuild Scientist
Philip Rowell PhD 2014-2018, LHASA Scientist
Davide Sbravati Visitor 2018-2019Scientist (Charnwood Molecular)
Franziska Schramm Visitor 2005
Ravi Singh Summer student 2013
Kirstin Spence Technician 2016-2017, PhD candidate (York)
Henry Spurr MChem 2006-2007, PhD candidate (Leeds)
Gemma Stansfield MChem 2007-2008, PhD candidate (Manchester)
Zoe Stephenson MChem 2018-2019
Emma Stirk MSc 2016
Joseph Winterman-Hodgson Summer student and MChem 2018-19
Jun Xia MSc, 2021
David Yeo PhD 2010-2014, LHASA Scientist
Honghao Zhang MSc 2018