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Eboni Bucknor (2017 – 2021)E Bucknor

Project: Analysing the function and dysfunction of TLDc proteins in neurological diseases

Supervisors: Associate Professor Peter Oliver and Associate Professor Simon Butt

Lab team

In 2017, I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Genetics. During my studies, I developed a strong interest in molecular mechanisms underpinning human disease, leading me to undertake my DPhil at the MRC Harwell Institute (Mammalian Genetics Unit) in the Molecular Neurobiology group.

My current research project aims to discover underlying neuropathological mechanisms of disease onset when mutations occur in members of the TLDc protein family, a group of proteins suggested to play a role in the neuronal cell response to oxidative stress. Read more


Matthew Ellis (2017-2020) M Ellis

Project:  Investigating the role of the IGF-1R in prostate cancer

Supervisor: Dr Valentine Macaulay 

Lab team

I graduated from King’s College London (KCL) with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, where I became interested in cancer research during my research project. I was subsequently awarded funding to undertake summer research studentships at the University of Cambridge and the National Institute of Medical Research. I received a national scholarship to study an MRes in cancer biology at Imperial College London, working in the Gene Targeting laboratory of Dr Andrew Porter and at the Francis Crick Institute in the Apoptosis and Proliferation Control laboratory with Dr Nic Tapon. Read more


Anna Kordala (2017-2021)Anna Kordala photo

Project:  Identifying epigenetic modifiers of survival motor neuron protein using small molecules

Supervisors: Dr Suzan Hammond and Prof Matthew Wood

 Lab team

I began my career with a masters degree in Pharmacy (Medical University of Lodz, Poland). During my masters, I had my first experience of lab work during a placement at the University of Chicago (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics), where I studied  mistranslation in mammalian cells. Later, I returned to Poland and worked in clinical trials management. In 2016, I moved to Oxford, initially as a Research Assistant in Prof Wood's group, and later as a DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Suzan Hammond. My current research focus is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which is the main genetic cause of infant mortality. Read more 


Sonali Munshaw (2018-2021)S Munshaw

Project: Thymosin β4 – A novel regulator of Low density lipoprotein receptor related protein 1(LRP1) in vascular disease

Supervisor: Dr Nicola Smart and Prof Paul Riley

Lab Team

I completed an MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, India, ranked 2nd at the University. I joined as a research assistant at the Experimental Radiation Therapeutic Group at the University of Oxford to study radiopharmaceutical treatment of Breast Cancer. I subsequently joined Nicola Smarts’ Group at Department Of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics at University Of Oxford where I had an opportunity to explore the fields of Cardiac Regeneration and Vascular Protection. My increasing interest in the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease really motivated me to apply for DPhil under the supervision of Dr Nicola Smart and Prof Paul Riley. I was awarded a prestigious MRC studentship and in 2018, I commenced a 3-Year Non-Clinical MRC PhD Studentship at the University of Oxford. Read more



Carla Christianne Schmidt (2018-2021) Carla Schmidt

Project: Investigations on pre- and postsynaptic plasticity

Supervisor: Prof Nigel Emptage

 Lab team

 I graduated from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, with a BSc and MSc in Molecular Medicine. As a research assistant at the Universtätsklinikum Erlangen, I was able to gain significant lab experience and particularly in the fields of immunology and genetics. However, I was always primarily interested in neuroscience. My research projects during my early studies focused on investigating synaptic plasticity within the brain. As part of my Master’s degree, I came to Oxford for an internship in Prof Emptage’s lab (Department of Pharmacology) where I investigated presynaptic NMDA receptors and their role in synaptic plasticity. In 2018, I joined Prof Emptage’s lab as a DPhil student. I am using electrophysiology as well as in vitro and in vivo imaging to study synaptic transmission and plasticity. Read more


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