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Dr. Tudor A. Fulga |


Tudor obtained his PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), where he initially studied the process of protein translocation across the ER with Prof. Irmgard Sinning, and later the mechanisms guiding invasive cell migration with Dr. Pernille Rorth. In 2004 he joined the laboratory of Prof. Mel Feany at Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow, where he investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Amongst several important scientific contributions in this field, his research delineated the actin cytoskeleton as a critical mediator of neurodegeneration. In 2008 he became Instructor in Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, where together with Prof. David Van Vactor he pioneered a highly versatile in vivo transgenic technology for conditional knock-down of miRNA activity. Tudor joined the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford in 2011/2012 as a MRC Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator. In 2014 he was appointed Associate Professor of Genome Biology at University of Oxford.


Outside the lab Tudor has a passion for extreme, adrenalin fuelled sports such as backcountry skiing, mountaineering, ice and rock climbing, white-water kayaking and wakeboarding.

POSTDOCs

Dr. Markus Toegel |


Markus received his Diploma (M.Sc. equivalent) in Biology from the University of Vienna (Austria). His diploma work was focused on heartbeat reversal in insects in the lab of Günther Pass. For his PhD studies he moved to Osnabrueck to join the lab of Prof. Achim Paululat, where he worked on wing heart development in Drosophila. His PhD was funded by a grant from The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and was carried out as collaboration between the University of Vienna and the University of Osnabrueck (Germany). Markus joined the lab in August 2013. His work is focused on understanding the role of miRNAs during brain development in Drosophila. In addition, he is leading the development of a novel TALE-based binary system for parallel transgene expression in vivo.


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Dr. Aron Szabo |


Aron graduated from the University of Szeged, Hungary in 2003 and completed his PhD with Dr Andor Udvardy at the Biological Research Centre in Szeged working on the 26S proteasome regulatory particle and its role in controlled protein degradation in Drosophila. During this time, he became interested in fly behavioural genetics and subsequently secured a postdoctoral fellowship in 2007 to the lab of François Rouyer in Gif-sur-Yvette, France which specialised in the neurobiology of Drosophila circadian rhythms. During his first postdoc, he discovered the CK2 kinase as an important enzyme for the stability and activity of the circadian transcription factor, CLOCK and the rhythmic ubiquitylation of clock-controlled proteins. Following his passion for fly neurogenetics, he joined the Fulga group as a postdoc in August 2014. His current studies focus on the role of miRNAs in axon degeneration after nerve injury.


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Dr. David Knapp |


David began his research career as an undergraduate under the supervision of Dr. P. Richard Harrigan. This work focused on the evolution of drug resistance in HIV and the interplay of this with immune factors. David subsequently received his PhD from the University of British Columbia (Canada) under the supervision of Dr. Connie J. Eaves. In his doctoral work, David performed various single cell analyses to dissect the molecular characteristics of human haematopoietic stem cells and the regulation by growth factors. David joined the lab in 2016, and is currently working on the use of Cas9-based synthetic gene circuits to allow precise control of cell identity. He is also developing a scarless method for the FACS-based selection CRISPR-edited cells.


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Hilary Sheppard |


Hilary (AKA Billy) joins us whilst she is on research and study leave from the University of Auckland, NZ, where she is a senior lecturer. She completed her PhD in 1998 at the John Innes Institute, UK. This was followed by postdoctoral training at the University of California, Riverside, USA working on understanding the transcriptional regulation of the tumour suppressor protein p53 and then at the University of Leicester, UK where she focused on studying transcriptional co-activators of nuclear receptors. After a move to NZ and 5 years in industry with the biotechnology start-up company Genesis R and D, she returned to academia in 2006 with a position at the University of Auckland, NZ. Her current interests are on understanding the roles of microRNAs in cellular differentiation with a focus on human T cells and adipose-derived stem cells, two clinically useful cell types.


PhD Students

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Toni A. Baeumler |


Toni studied for his Biochemistry and Molecular Biology undergraduate degree in Germany (U of Jena), United Kingdom (U of York) and Taiwan (NTHU). He pursued his graduate studies in Germany (U of Goettingen, International Max Planck Research School) and Sweden (Karolinska Institutet). During his Master’s thesis in the lab of Prof. Göran Anderssons, he determined targets and potential inhibitors of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase in a breast cancer cell line-based system. Toni has been a DPhil student in the Medical Sciences Programme at the University of Oxford since April 2014. His main research interest lies in applying novel genome engineering technologies to the development of therapeutic approaches for human disease (cancer, autoimmune disease, etc). He is currently working on a receptor-based strategy to engineer synthetic signalling pathways in eukaryotic cells.


Apart from enjoying sports like kickboxing, swimming, tennis and badminton, he has a passion for Economics. He took undergraduate classes in Economics and economic related subjects, attended a course at Saïd Business School and participated in business plan competitions in Germany and the UK.

Quentin Ferry |


As an undergraduate Quentin studied various fields of engineering, graduating in 2011 from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France). A year later he completed an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oxford with a specialization in image analysis. During his master thesis, co-supervised by Prof. Andrew Zisserman (Oxford robots) and Chris Ponting (MRC FGU), Quentin applied the latest computer vision and machine learning methods to automate the diagnosis of rare genetic disorders. After publication of this work, for which he received the Professor Sir Michael Brady Prize, Quentin joined Tudor’s group as a Dphil student working on genome engineering and synthetic biology. Quentin's Dphil is funded by a 4-year Wellcome Trust Award.


Really? that would be too long...
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Yale Michaels |


Yale graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of arts degree in 2013. He majored in molecular and cellular biology and minored in astrophysics. From 2011 to 2013 he was a member of Prof. Jack Szostak’s laboratory where he investigated catalytic RNAs in the context of elucidating the origins of cellular life. Yale began his DPhil in medical sciences at Oxford in October of 2014. His work combines genome editing technologies and synthetic biology approaches towards engineering cancer resistance in intact organisms. Yale is funded by the Christopher Welch Scholarship, the WIMM Prize Studentship and the Clarendon Scholarship.


Alice Lightowlers |


Alice studied Natural Sciences at Clare College, Cambridge, specialising in Biochemistry for her MSci. For her Master’s project in the Prof. Phil Holliger’s lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, she studied ribozyme activity in random RNA pools, aiming to contribute to the RNA World Hypothesis. Alice began her DPhil in October of 2015. She is interested in CRISPR/Cas9 gene drives in Mosquitoes with application to combating Dengue fever. Alice also hopes to improve the efficiency of homology directed repair in hematopoietic stem cells using CRISPR/Cas9.


Alice enjoys baking, climbing and running. In her spare time she also likes to write about the science behind mythical creatures. Alice's wonderful science-themed embroidery in support of The Brain Tumour Charity is available on Etsy.
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Max Jamilly |


Max received his BA in Natural Sciences in 2013 from Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he received a Foundress' Scholarship and investigated miRNA localisation in C. elegans with Prof. Howard Baylis. He stayed in Cambridge for an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise and won the Carpe Diem Entrepreneurship Prize. Later, Max interned at Cambridge Consultants in Cambridge, UK, where he worked on cancer diagnostics, and at Gen9 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he helped develop new technologies for gene assembly. He joined the Synthetic Biology Centre for Doctoral Training in Oxford in 2015 and the Fulga lab in 2016. Max's work involves using CRISPR/Cas9 screening techniques to study MLL leukaemia. www.jamilly.com


Max is passionate about travel, foreign languages and watersports. He is an active scuba diving instructor and member of the OU Yacht Racing Team. In 2013, he drove from Scotland to China and back.

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Andrew Ramos |


Andrew graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering in 2017. During his undergraduate studies, he was a member of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute with Prof. Pranav Soman's laboratory. There, he investigated gelatin methacrylate as a bone tissue engineering scaffold material. In addition, at a research fellowship for the summer 2016, Andrew conducted research in induced pluripotent stem cells and TALENs for skin tissue engineering applications. Andrew began his DPhil in Medical Sciences at Oxford in October 2017. Andrew's work involves utilizing receptor-based strategies to engineer synthetic signaling pathways.

In his free time, Andrew enjoys weightlifting on his own or training with the Oxford University Gymnastics team.

FORMER members

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Dr. Qianxin Wu |


Qianxin Wu is a post doctoral researcher in the Fulga lab. She was trained in biopharmaceutical science at Tongji Medical College, China. She obtained an MSc and PhD degress in biomolecular medicine from Imperial College London. For her PhD studies, she worked on understanding the crosstalk between microRNA and metabolites using a metabolic surgery model system. Qianxin joined the lab in March 2014. Her research is focused on adapting high-throughput genome engineering technologies to decipher how miRNAs bind and tune the expression of numerous cellular RNAs. Her goal is to understand the impact of microRNAs on their complete repertoire of cellular targets, and establish the fundamental rules underlying miRNA-target regulation.

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Dr. Deborah Lloyd |


Debs obtained her PhD from Exeter University, where she studied the genetics of copper tolerance and hybrid lethality in the model plant species Mimulus guttatus with Prof. Mark Macnair. During this time, she also worked as a research assistant in the lab of Dr Steve Bates where she was involved in investigating the molecular and cellular biology of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. In 2011, Debs transferred to a clinical genetics setting by joining the lab of Prof. Andrew Wilkie, where she was involved in investigating the genetic etiology of craniosynostosis – the premature fusion of the cranial sutures. This work lead to the discovery of an intriguing novel disease gene and so, in 2013, Debs began collaborating with the Fulga lab, leading a project using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster to decipher the cellular function and biology of this intriging protein.

Timothy Rajakumar |


Tim did his undergraduate studies at Cambridge in Natural Sciences, specialising in biochemistry (part II and III). During this time he conducted research on the protein-protein interactions of Fbxo7 in the lab of Dr Heike Laman and research into the role of the Archaeal HerA/NurA proteins in DNA repair in the lab of Dr Nick Robinson. During his studies he spent a summer in Thailand working with the research and development team at Global Lithotripsy Services carrying out in vitro tests on a new medical device. Tim started his PhD with Tudor in 2011 and has been working on the construction of synthetic circuits that respond to disease associated miRNA expression signatures.


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Dr. Bruno Steinkraus |


Bruno received his BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College London. He completed his BSc dissertation in the laboratory of Prof Murray Selkirk working on cholinergic regulation of epithelial cell function. He has previously interned at 4SC AG in Germany and Gema Biotech in Argentina. Bruno joined the lab in October 2012 and became Tudor’s second DPhil student. In the lab he is working on various projects with a main focus on unbiased RNA interactome capture and native RNA engineering. He is funded by a 4-year WIMM MRC studentship.


Equestrian sports, Ashtanga Yoga, Swimming, Taekwondo, Literature, World Travel.

Dr. Zoi Alexopoulou |


Zoi is a medical doctor. She studied pre-clinical and clinical medicine at the University of Oxford. For her BA she specialized in Signaling in Health and Disease, concentrating on miRNAs in cancer. After graduating, she did her medical internship in general surgery, urology, respiratory medicine, general medicine and psychiatry. She is now a clinical research fellow and joint DPhil candidate (George Tofaris & Tudor Fulga) in Oxford, working on ubiquitination pathways and their relevance to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. She is using fly genetics, cell-based assays, genomics, neuropathological specimens and genomic engineering. Her scientific interests focus on neurology, neuroscience, Parkinson’s disease, genomic engineering, signaling in health and disease, disease pathogenesis, fly genetics, medicine, surgery, innovation and new technologies/biotechnologies.


Travelling, music, dancing, spending time with family and friends.
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Hectór Barbosa |


Hectór joined us for his master's project from the University of Jena, Germany. He worked with Yale Michaels.

Originally from Colombia, Hector likes reggaeton and mojitos.

Eunice Y. Lee |


Eunice is a junior studying Molecular Biology at Princeton University, currently in Oxford during Michelmas term as a visiting student in Biochemistry. In the Fulga lab, she is studying Transcription Activator-Like Effectors and their applications, specifically with respect to addressing the limitations of the Gal4/UAS system. When she's not checking on her S2 drosophila cells, she spends time perfecting the art of drawing minions.


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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

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Yuki Hale |


Yuki joined the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine as the Administrative PA for Professor Fulga in July 2013. She provides administrative support for Tudor and his lab members. She is the first point of contact for internal and external enquiries. She also works closely with colleagues in the WIMM. Prior to joining the University, she held Executive Assistant roles at multinational companies in Tokyo, Japan.