YBRI Academic Staff

YBRI hosts over 80 principal investigators covering a range of disciplines, addressing biomedical challenges at regional, national and global scales.

  • Dr Han-Jou Chen: Neurodegeneration; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ASL); Alzheimer’s Disease; Frontotemporal Dementia; Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dr Gareth Evans: Neuronal signalling; Neuronal development; Neuroblastoma; Kinase biochemistry
  • Dr Darren Goffin: Neuroscience; Rett syndrome; Electrophysiology; DNA methylation; Autism
  • Dr Hannah Hobson: Autism; Developmental Language Disorder; Mental Health; Language and Communication; Psychology
  • Dr Adar Pelah: Visual-perception; Sensory-motor; Locomotion; Virtual-reality-biofeedback; Rehabilitation
  • Professor Stephen Smith: AI and Machine Learning; Intelligent medical devices; Neurodegenerative conditions; Cell tracking, Characterisation and classification
  • Dr Sean Sweeney: Drosophila genetics; Neuromuscular junction; Frontotemporal Dementia; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); Pathological signalling
  • Professor Alex Wade: Vision; Attention; fMRI; EEG; Neuroimaging; Neuroscience
  • Dr Yvette Hancock: Label-free methods; Biomolecular stratification; Biomarkers; Clinical translation; Raman spectroscopy
  • Prof Neil Hunt: Ultrafast spectroscopy; Biomolecular interactions; Protein-drug binding; Biofluid analysis
  • Dr Steven Johnson: Biosensors; Infection; Electrochemistry; Microfluidics; Co-design
  • Professor Thomas Krauss: Photonic nanostructures; Optical biosensors; Antimicrobial susceptibility; Nanofabrication technology
  • Professor Mark Leake: Biophysics; Single-molecule; Bioimaging; Super-resolution; Single-cell
  • Dr Samadhan Patil: Point-of-care diagnostics; Bio-sensors; Metabolomics; Antimicrobial resistance; Bio-mechanics
  • Dr Manish Chauhan: Soft robotics (for biomedical applications); Microbiology; Robot-assisted medical devices; Optical fibre technology (spectroscopy); Medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions
  • Dr Dave Boucher: Cell death; Protease Signalling; Innate Immunity; Biochemistry; Cell Signalling
  • Dr James Hewitson: Immunology; Parasitology; Immune regulation; Vaccine; Macrophage
  • Dr Ioannis Kourtzelis: Macrophage phagocytosis; Inflammation resolution; Anti-tumor immunity; Leukocyte adhesion; Myeloid cell plasticity
  • Dr Dimitris Lagos: Immunity; microRNAs; lncRNAs; RNA-binding proteins; Gene expression regulation
  • Dr Michael Plevin: Protein-RNA interactions; microRNAs; Leishmania; Structural biology; Protein phase separation
  • Professor Fred Antson: Structural Biology; Cryo-EM; Protein-nucleic acid interactions; Virus assembly; Herpesviruses
  • Dr Jamie Blaza: CryoEM; Electron-tomography; Bacteria; Bioenergetics; Pathogens
  • Professor Marek Brzozowski: Insulin; IGF1; IGF2; Insulin/IGF Receptor; Neurodegeneration
  • Professor Gideon Davies: Glycobiology; Carbohydrate chemistry; Leishmania; Structural biology; Activity-based probes
  • Dr Martin Fascione: Chemical biology; Glycosylation; Protein post-translational modifications; Protein bioconjugation; Organic synthesis
  • Professor Neil Hunt: Ultrafast spectroscopy; Biomolecular interactions; Protein-drug binding; Biofluid analysis
  • Dr Chris Spicer: Biomaterials; Tissue engineering; Protein chemistry; Chemical biology
  • Professor Anthony Wilkinson: Protein Structure Function; Biological specificity; Protein crystallography
  • Dr Lianne Willems: Mass spectrometry; Interdisciplinary science; Protein glycosylation; Therapeutics production; Environmental contamination

 

  • Dr Scott Cairney: Sleep; Memory; Emotion; Mental Health; Polysomnography
  • Dr Sangeeta Chawla: Synaptic-plasticity; Transcription, Circadian; Ca2+ signalling; Oxidative stress
  • Professor Gareth Gaskell: Sleep; Memory consolidation; Polysomnography; Development, Language
  • Dr Silke Göebel: Developmental cognitive neuroscience; Numeracy development; Functions of the parietal lobe; Dyscalculia, Dyslexia
  • Dr David Halliday: Computational Neuroscience; Neural signal processing
  • Dr Tom Hartley: Hippocampus; Dementia; fMRI; Computational modelling; Neural networks
  • Dr Lisa Henderson: Development; Language; Disorders; Autism; Sleep
  • Dr Aidan Horner: Memory; Dementia; Hippocampus; fMRI; MEG
  • Dr Mark Hymers: MEG; fMRI; Methods; Auditory processing; Clinical
  • Professor Beth Jefferies: Semantic; fMRI; MEG; TMS; Memory
  • Professor Christina van der Feltz-Cornelis: Psychiatry; Epidemiology; Translational research; Inflammation; Microbiome
  • Dr David Halliday: Computational Neuroscience; Neural signal processing
  • Dr Andrew Mason: Cancer; Bioinformatics; Functional Genomics; Endogenous Retroviruses
  • Dr Adar Pelah: Visual-perception; Sensory-motor; Locomotion; Virtual-reality-biofeedback; Rehabilitation
  • Dr Gonzalo Blanco: Myopathy; Electroporation; Skeletal muscle hypertrophy; Atrophy
  • Dr Will Brackenbury: Brain tumours; Breast cancer; Ion channels; Metastasis; Microglia
  • Professor Paul Genever: Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; Bone marrow; Skeletal biology; Regenerative medicine; Cell and molecular
  • Dr Andrew Holding: Cancer; Nuclear Receptors; Computational Biology; Single Cell Sequencing; Functional Genomics
  • Dr Betsy Pownall: Developmental biology; Embryology; Cell signalling; Genetics; Animal models of disease
  • Professor Jenny Southgate: Urothelium; Bladder cancer; Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; Transcriptomics; Differentiation
  • Dr Lianne Willems: Mass spectrometry; Interdisciplinary science; Protein glycosylation; Therapeutics production; Environmental contamination

Professor Peter O'Brien: Fragment-based drug discovery; SARS-CoV-2; chemical biology; medicinal chemistry; organic synthesis

  • Dr Will Brackenbury: Brain tumours; Breast cancer; Ion channels; Metastasis; Microglia
  • Professor Dawn Coverley: Cell cycle; Nuclear architecture; Early detection of cancer; Technology transfer
  • Dr Andrew Holding: Cancer; Nuclear Receptors; Computational Biology; Single Cell Sequencing; Functional Genomics
  • Dr Andrew Mason: Cancer; Bioinformatics; Functional Genomics; Endogenous Retroviruses
  • Professor Jenny Southgate: Urothelium; Bladder cancer; Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; Transcriptomics; Differentiation
  • Dr Simon Crouch: Biostatistics; Stochastic Modelling; Predictive Modelling; Big Data; Haematological Malignancies
  • Professor Ian Hitchcock: Haematology; Cancer; Cytokine signalling; Haematopoietic stem cells; Infection
  • Dr David Kent: Leukaemia; Haematopoietic stem cells; Single cell biology; Physical biology of stem cells; Stem cell niche
  • Professor Rob Newton: Cancer; Infections; Africa; HIV; Immunity
  • Professor Eve Roman: Haematological malignancies; Childhood cancers; Epidemiological methods; Adverse reproductive events
  • Dr Alex Smith: Epidemiology; Leukaemia; Lymphoma; Myeloma
  • Dr Will Brackenbury: Brain tumours; Breast cancer; Ion channels; Metastasis; Microglia
  • Professor Nia Bryant: Diabetes (Type-2); Membrane traffic; SNARE proteins; Insulin action; Neutropenia
  • Professor Dawn Coverley: Cell cycle; Nuclear architecture; Early detection of cancer; Technology transfer
  • Dr Gareth Evans: Neuronal signalling; Neuronal development; Neuroblastoma; Kinase biochemistry
  • Dr Andrew Holding: Cancer; Nuclear Receptors; Computational Biology; Single Cell Sequencing; Functional Genomics
  • Dr Chris MacDonald: Membrane trafficking; Cell surface membrane proteins; Yeast genetics; Fluorescence microscopy; Biochemistry
  • Dr Andrew Mason: Cancer; Bioinformatics; Functional Genomics; Endogenous Retroviruses
  • Dr Agnes Noy: Molecular modelling; DNA supercoiling; DNA:protein recognition; 3D genomics; Gene therapy
  • Dr Paul Pryor: Lysosome biogenesis; Autophagy; Ageing; Cell biology; Membrane traffic
  • Dr James Hewitson: Immunology; Parasitology; Immune regulation; Vaccine; Macrophage
  • Dr Daniel Jeffares: Population genomics, Genome-wide association studies, Plasmodium, Leishmania
  • Professor Paul Kaye: Leishmaniasis; Immunopathology; Myeloid cells; Vaccines; Immunotherapy
  • Professor Charles Lacey: Clinical trials; Human challenge models; Human papillomavirus (HPV); Leishmania; Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Dr Amanda Mason-Jones: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); Epidemiology; Violence; Public health prevention; Children and young people
  • Professor Jeremy Mottram: Neglected Tropical Diseases; Target Validation; Drug Discovery; Trypanosoma; Leishmania
  • Dr Elmarie Myburgh: Host-pathogen interactions; Leishmania; in vivo imaging; Immunology; Macrophages
  • Professor Rob Newton: Cancer; Infections; Africa; Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Immunity
  • Dr Pegine Walrad: Leishmania; Pathogen; Gene regulation; Motility; RNA
  • Professor Anthony Wilkinson: Protein Structure Function; Biological Specificity; Protein Crystallography
  • Dr Laurence Wilson: Imaging; Bioinformatics; Parasitology; Biological physics; Motility
  • Professor Gavin Wright: Protein interactions; Kinetoplastids; Vaccines; Membrane proteins
  • Professor Simon Duckett: MRI; NMR; Hyperpolarisation; Metabolism; Diagnosis
  • Dr Karla Evans: Attention; Perception; Translational Research; Memory; Neuroimaging
  • Dr Aneurin Kennerley: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; fMRI; Optical Imaging; Neuroscience; Hyperpolarisation
  • Dr Steven Quinn: Single-molecule spectroscopy; Alzheimer’s disease; Fluorescence, Protein interactions, Model-membranes
  • Professor Anne Duhme-Klair: Medicinal inorganic chemistry; Synthetic chemistry; Bacterial nutrient transporters; Antimicrobials; Bacterial resistance mechanisms
  • Dr Steven Johnson: Biosensors; Infection; Electrochemistry; Microfluidics; Co-design
  • Professor Thomas Krauss: Photonic nanostructures; Optical biosensors; Antimicrobial susceptibility test; Nanofabrication technology
  • Dr Gavin Thomas: Sialic acid; Symbionts of disease vectors; Human microbiome, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae
  • Professor Stephen Smith: AI and Machine Learning; Intelligent medical devices; Neurodegenerative conditions; Cell tracking, Characterisation and classification
  • Professor Zion Tse: Medical Robotics; Medical Devices and Instrumentation; Image-guided Therapy; Mobile Health; MRI
  • Dr Manish Chauhan: Soft robotics (for biomedical applications); Microbiology; Robot-assisted medical devices; Optical fibre technology (spectroscopy); Medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions
  • Dr Christoph Baumann: Microbial biophysics; Single-molecule fluorescence imaging; Membrane Dynamics; Bacterial cell surface biology; Chemical biology
  • Professor James Chong: Gut microbiome; Nanopore sequencing; Growth of anaerobes
  • Professor Anne Duhme-Klair: Medicinal inorganic chemistry; Synthetic chemistry; Bacterial nutrient transporters; Antimicrobials; Bacterial resistance mechanisms
  • Dr Paul Fogg: Antibiotic resistance; Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR); Evolution; Horizontal gene transfer; Virology; Microbiology
  • Dr Ville Friman: Phage therapy; Cystic Fibrosis; Pathogen virulence; Evolutionary ecology; Microbiomes
  • Dr Daniel Jeffares: Population genomics, Genome-wide association studies, Plasmodium, Leishmania
  • Dr Steven Johnson: Biosensors; Infection; Electrochemistry; Microfluidics; Co-design
  • Professor Thomas Krauss: Photonic nanostructures; Optical biosensors; Antimicrobial susceptibility test; Nanofabrication technology
  • Dr Adar Pelah: Visual-perception; Sensory-motor; Locomotion; Virtual-reality-biofeedback; Rehabilitation
  • Dr Gavin Thomas: Sialic acid; Symbionts of disease vectors; Human microbiome, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae
  • Dr Marjan van der Woude: Bacteria; Pathogenesis; Molecular Microbiology; Heterogeneity; Interdisciplinarity
  • Professor Paul Genever: Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; Bone marrow; Skeletal biology; Regenerative medicine; Cell and molecular
  • Dr David Kent: Leukaemia; Haematopoietic stem cells; Single cell biology; Physical biology of stem cells; Stem cell niche
  • Professor Roland Kröger: Ex situ and In situ Transmission Electron Microscopy; Bone and Teeth Structure; Composition and Properties; Raman Spectroscopy
  • Dr Betsy Pownall: Developmental biology; Embryology; Cell signalling; Genetics; Animal models of disease
  • Professor Jenny Southgate: Urothelium; Bladder cancer; Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; Transcriptomics; Differentiation
  • Dr Chris Spicer: Biomaterials; Tissue engineering; Protein chemistry; Chemical biology
  • Dr Daniel Baker: Visual neuroscience; Binocular vision; Computational modelling; Amblyopia; Autism
  • Dr Heidi Baseler: Vision; Neuroimaging; Neuroprotection; Blindness; Deafness
  • Professor Tony Morland: fMRI; Visual Neuroscience; psychophysics; evoked potentials and field; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Professor Alex Wade: Vision, Attention, fMRI, EEG, Neuroimaging
  • Professor Fred Antson: Structural Biology; Cryo-EM; Protein-nucleic acid interactions; Virus assembly; Herpesviruses
  • Dr Jamie Blaza: CryoEM; Electron-tomography; Bacteria; Bioenergetics; Pathogens
  • Professor Gideon Davies: Glycobiology; Carbohydrate chemistry; Leishmania; Structural biology; Activity-based probes
  • Dr Chris Hill: Structural biology; RNA biology; Viruses; Gene expression; Translational control
  • Prof Paul Kaye: Leishmaniasis; Immunopathology; Myeloid cells; Vaccines; Immunotherapy
  • Dr Dimitris Lagos: Immunity; microRNAs; lncRNAs; RNA-binding proteins; Gene expression regulation
  • Dr Michael Plevin: Protein/RNA interactions; microRNAs; Leishmania; Structural biology; Protein phase separation
  • Dr Nathalie Signoret: Molecular cell biology; Immunology; Infectious diseases; Virology
  • Professor Reidun Twarock: Virus assembly; packaging signals; viral infection models; antiviral therapy; gene vectors
  • Professor Anthony Wilkinson: Protein Structure Function; Biological Specificity; Protein Crystallography

Honorary members

YBRI has a number of honorary members who hold an honorary contract with the University of York, based at other institutions nationally and internationally.

Professor Musa is a professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the institute of Endemic Diseases. He is a physician specialist in internal and tropical medicine and clinical infectious diseases especially leishmaniasis.

He holds an honorary position with Hull York Medical School and is a chief clinical investigator of a jointly held Wellcome Trust Translation award and EDCTP grants to support leishmaniasis vaccine development.

Miss Radford is a consultant paediatric surgeon and urologist at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, consultant paediatric urologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and honorary senior clinical lecturer at Hull York Medical School.

Her research interests are in tissue engineering and epigenetic modification in disease. She completed her PhD with Professor Southgate and continues to collaborate with the Jack Birch Unit for Molecular Carcinogenesis.

Dr Wilkinson is Head of Virtual Drug Discovery at Medicines Discovery catapult; the UK's national facility for collaborative drug discovery research and development, dedicated to exploring and developing new approaches to the discovery and proof of targeted medicines, diagnostics and biomarkers.

He is initially aligned to YBRI through collaborative research in urology with Professor Southgate and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Department of Biology. He is an industry representative on the Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry and is interested in developing and supporting further collaborations in drug discovery aligned to the exploitation of innovative research at YBRI.

Professor Wilson is an emeritus professor in the Department of Biology. His research focus is on the disease Schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis is a debilitating disease and infects up to 200 million people in many parts of South America, Africa and Asia. In severe cases, infection can be fatal.

He investigates the immune responses which result in protection against infection, to discover antigens which can be evaluated as vaccine candidates and to examine the processes which give rise to pathology.

Dr Isaacs is an emeritus reader in the Department of Biology. His research focus is on developmental biology, Specifically the expression of neuronal isoforms of src (n-srcs) in the childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, with the aim of developing novel approaches to treating neuroblastoma.

Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling is his other area of interest. FGF signalling is required for cell lineage specification in normal development and cultured embryonic stem cells. Mis-regulated FGF signalling is associated with human disease, including cancer and skeletal dysplasia. He is investigating the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by FGF signalling, with the aim of understanding how FGF regulates cell lineage specification and differentiation.

Dr Elliot is an emeritus Lecturer in the Department of Biology.  His research focus is on the fundamental causes of Parkinson’s disease (PD), using fly models of inherited PD to understand why (some dopaminergic) neurons die more than others.

Fly models of PD are robust and recapitulate the main features of the disease because flies share many genes with humans.

Dr Morgante is a consultant neonatal and paediatric surgeon at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and is an honorary senior lecturer and associate researcher at Hull York Medical School.

She is passionate about clinical research in neonatal and paediatric surgery as well as basic science research, with particular interest in biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Her PhD conducted at the Jack Birch Unit for Molecular Carcinogenesis focussed on acellular matrices for surgical application.

Professor Gale is a Consultant Medical Ophthalmologist and the Clinical Director at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Gale’s research interests are in the fields of inflammatory eye disease and medical disorders of the retina.

Philip is a physician scientist with a focus on precision medicine in the field of oncology drug development and patient stratification. He followed his initial training as a haematologist with 8 years’ research in Cambridge and Vancouver, focused on understanding genotype-phenotype correlations in haematological cancers and developing improved preclinical models of leukaemia. Since then, Philip has worked cross-sector in academic, healthcare and biotech roles with a unified goal of accelerating oncology drug development and ensuring that each patient receives the most suitable therapy.

Philip currently heads research and translational medicine at Step Pharma, who are developing novel therapeutic agents to treat patients with haematological cancers. He is also an honorary consultant at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, where he is part of team exploring innovative approaches to democratise access to comprehensive biomarker profiling and maximise clinical trial opportunities for those living with cancer. Philip’s research interests include the use of cancer genomic analysis to better understand disease behaviour and response to therapy, and the development of advanced preclinical cancer models based on human cells. Philip currently holds honorary research positions at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, and the Mayo Clinic, Mn, USA.

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