People

Andy Wilson
Professor of Organic Chemistry PhD, BSc (Hons), FRSC. 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. Andy was appointed to the EPSRC Physical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team in 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 eighteen 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).
Andy Boswell
Andy is a first year PhD student funded through an EPSRC CASE studentship with AstraZeneca. His collaborative project with Dr Thomas Edwards (Biological Sciences) is focused on the development and optimisation of protein-protein interaction stabilisers. Andy graduated from the University of Leeds in 2020 with an MChem Medicinal Chemistry. His masters project with Prof Bruce Turnbull investigated methods for AB5 toxin reassembly.
Rob Dawber
Rob is a third 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.
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, focussed on the development of fluorinated analogues of Fengycin A with enhanced bio-stability for application as ex-vivo antifungals. Prior to this, Diana completed her PhD in 2019 at Durham University funded through the Marie Curie ITN Fluor21 network, where she investigated new routes for the 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 in the biophysical area and the Durham University Chemistry department Ken Wade award in 2019. In addition, Diana was awarded the Berlin Female Young Talent Award of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1349 in 2019, which honours a young female scientist for contributions to the field of fluorine chemistry. 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 second 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.
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
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 recently finished her 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 Professor 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 Professor 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 Professor Wybren Jan Buma at the University of Amsterdam.
Aidan Johnson
Aidan is a first 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 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.
Yue Li
Yue is a first-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).
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.
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 second 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, Project Manager (Strasbourg)
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), 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).
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
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, 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)
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
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)
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
Diana Rodriguez Visitor 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
David Yeo PhD 2010-2014, LHASA Scientist
Honghao Zhang MSc 2018