People

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

 

Andy Wilson
Professor of Organic Chemistry PhD, BSc (Hons), MRSC. 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 is now Deputy Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology. Andy is also co-director of PPI-Net and served as a working group leader in the EU-COST action on Foldamers
Emma Cawood
Emma is a final year PhD student on the four year Wellcome Trust PhD programme at Leeds. Her project is in collaboration with Prof Sheena Radford FRS, and revolves around the development of small molecules to probe the protein-protein interactions involved in amyloid formation. She came to Leeds in 2015 after graduating from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Bimolecular Science, where she worked under the supervision of Prof Jim Naismith.
Sergio Celis
Sergio is a postdoctoral research associate working on the development of small-molecule and peptide based inhibitors of protein-protein interactions within the PoPPI project. He obtained his PhD in 2013 at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, working under the supervision of Prof. Ortuno and Dr. Illa. His research was focused on the design and synthesis of cyclobutane-containing peptidomimetics and the study of their molecular/supramolecular properties as foldamers, organogels and anion receptors. Before joining the Wilson group, he worked as a synthetic organic chemist in industry (Spain, UK) preparing biologically active targets for medicinal chemistry projects.
Rob Dawber
Rob is a first year PhD student on the MRC DiMeN DTP programme. His project is in collaboration with Prof Richard Bayliss and revolves around the development of peptidomimetic-based inhibitors of key protein-protein interactions of the Aurora Kinase. Rob completed his MChem degree at the University of Leeds in 2018, and, as part of his studies spent a year in industry working for YProTech developing a catalogue of dipeptide linker compounds and optimizing synthetic routes to various pyrrolobenzodiazepines. For his final year project he worked in the Fishwick Group on a structure-based drug design project, developing mPPase inhibitors with antimalarial potential.
Matthew Foulkes
Matt is a postdoctoral research associate who joined us in June 2018, to work on developing small molecule probes for protein-protein interactions, supported through the EPSRC programme grant. Matt graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2014 with a first-class Masters degree in Chemistry with Study in Industry, during which he spent a year working at GlaxoSmithKline on several ongoing drug discovery programmes. He recently completed his PhD, also at Sheffield, on exploring the chemical synthesis of novel tanshinone derivatives, and evaluation of these for anti-inflammatory effects using a zebrafish model, under the guidance of Prof. Simon Jones and Prof. Stephen Renshaw.
Fruzsina Hobor
Fruzsina is a postdoctoral research associate working with Tom Edwards and Andy Wilson. Her Research focuses on structural and biophysical characterization of protein-protein interaction inhibitors. Fruzsina received her PhD in Biomolecular Chemistry at CEITEC Masaryk University in Brno in 2013. Between 2014-17 she worked as a postdoctoral research associated at University College London with Prof Andres Ramos studying mRNA localization and miRNA partitioning by Syncrip protein
Aisha Jabeen Syed
Aisha joined the Wilson group in February 2019 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in synthesis and chemical biology on the PoPPI project. She is currently working on small molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Aisha received a BSc (Hons) 1st class at The University of Birmingham in 2012. Amongst other awards, she was also the recipient of the Alfred Bader Award 2015, awarded by the University of Birmingham to the best graduating candidate wishing to continue on to research in organic chemistry. She was then awarded an Overseas Research Scholarship and a Graduate Research Scholarship by University College London (UCL) to undertake her Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry with Professor Jim Anderson on ‘The rational design, synthesis and properties of conformationally-locked infra-luciferin analogues’ which she completed in February 2019.
Kristina Hetherington
Kristina initially worked as a summer research student in the Wilson Group funded through a UGLRS scholarship to work on constrained peptides and then self-sorting H-bonded motifs. She spent her industry year working for YProTech on the synthesis of protein cross-linking reagents and then for the final year of her undergraduate studies as a project student in the Wilson Group. Her PhD studies supported by a Leeds Anniversary Scholarship are focused on inhibitors of protein-protein interactions.
Anastasija Kulik
Anastasija is a first 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 aBSc (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.
Pallavi Ramsahye
Pallavi joined the group in Nov 2017 as a Research Technician working collaboratively with Thomas Edwards to produce proteins for use in the PoPPI programme. Prior to joining the University of Leeds, Pallavi gained a BSc Biochemistry (Hons) at The University of Westminster. Pallavi’s research experience includes the cloning, expression and characterisation of autophagy proteins and studies towards their crystallisation. Pallavi has a particular interest in structural biology and X-ray crystallography and its applications in drug discovery and design.
Amy Rees
Amy joined the Wilson group in October 2017 as the Research Administrator for PoPPI. 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. Amy has a BA in Archaeology and History of Art, an MA in Archaeological Illustration and a Graduate Diploma in Law.
Suzanne Renwick
Suzanne is a second year PhD student funded through an EPSRC DTP studentship in collaboration with Professor Adam Nelson to carry out research aligned with the PoPPI project on development of small molecule protein-protein interaction inhibitors. Suzanne spent some time in industry after completing her Masters Degree in Chemistry with Drug Discovery at the University of Strathclyde in 2017 and is now looking forward to directing her focus into research at the University of Leeds.
Sonja Srdanovic
Sonja is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher funded through the TASPPI network (Targeted Stabilization of Protein-Protein Interactions. Prior to joining the group, she worked as a research assistant at 3Z pharma (Iceland), focused on CNS drug development, She obtained an MSc in Medicinal Chemistry at the university of Osijek (Croatia) ,working with Prof Margetic on the synthesis of novel chlorin e6 derrivtives for photodynamic therapy.
Martin Walko
Martin is a postdoctoral research associate investigating the use of photochemical crosslinking to study peptide aggregation in an EPSRC funded project with Prof Sheena Radford FRS, Prof Alison Ashcroft and Dr Eric Hewitt. 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 first 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 peptidomimetics approaches.

Former co-workers and visitors

Narasimha Ammana MSc 2010
Jon Anderson MSc 2007
Irene Arrata PhD 2013-2017, Driad Research Consultancy
Christopher Arter MSc 2017, PhD (Leeds)
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)
Liam Calvert Summer Student 2004
Fred Campbell MSc 2005 and PhD 2005-2009, PDRA (H Hailes-UCL), MC IEF (A. Kros, Leiden)
Heather Coubrough Phd 2014-2017, PDRA (Leeds), Development Chemist within Sterling Pharma Solutions Ltd.
Som Dutt PDRA 2017-2019
Bruno Falcone-Pin MSc 2009
Maria Filby PDRA 2008-2011, Proctor and Gamble (Reading) then BCM
Giorgia Gemminiani Visitor 2011
Adam Gooch PhD 2007-2011, Granta Design (Cambridge)
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)
Zsofia Hegedus PDRA 2016 and Marie Curie Fellow 2017-2019, Associate Professor (Szeged)
Sarah Hewitt PhD 2013-2017, PDRA, (S Butler-Loughborough)
Kat Horner PDRA 2016-2017, Research and Innovation Manager (Leeds)
Kelly Houton PhD 2011-2015, DuPont-Tianjin Films
Ryan Hubball MSc 2017, PhD (Leeds)
Portia Hunt MNatSci 2018-2019
Zeynab Imani Visitor
Thomas James PDRA 2016-2018, AstraZeneca Scientist
Hannah Jarvie MChem 2008-2009
Oliver King MChem 2004-2005
Katrazyna Kluska <Sc 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
Stephen Maxwell MChem 2011-2012
Aisling Minard MChem 2013-2014, PhD candidate (Leeds)
Jennifer Miles PDRA 2013-2015, PDRA (Paul Taylor-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)
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)
George Preston MSc 2007 and PhD 2008-2012, PDRA (David Philips-KCL)
Anjali Reddy MSc 2013
Lisa Renton Summer Student 2007
Diana Rodriguez Visitor 2017
Silvia Rodriguez Marin PhD 2011-2016, Everbuild Scientist
Philip Rowell PhD 2014-2018, LHASA Scientist
Davide Sbravati Visitor 2018-2019
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
David Yeo PhD 2010-2014, LHASA Scientist
Honghao Zhang MSc 2018