Welcome to our new staff!

Dr Mark Sprott, RA with Prof Matt Dalby

I completed my PhD in developing synergistic surface modification techniques for enhanced growth factor presentation on established biomaterials in Biomedical Engineering here at Glasgow. This entailed production of a novel surface initiated atomic transfer radical polymerisation technique for the incorporation of functional polymer brushes, able to drive fibrillogenesis of the extracellular matrix component fibronectin enhancing cellular attachment, growth factor presentation and osteogenic differentiation in both 2D films and 3D scaffolds. I have been fortunate to continue working with Matthew Dalby and Manuel Salmeron Sanchez within the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment (CeMi) working on translation of the nanokicking cell stimulation system for osteogenic regeneration. This exciting opportunity involves development and optimisation of the system in collaboration with other grants, such as the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation grant and external agencies to assist in the implementation of this promising system, eventually aiming for clinical application.

Dr Adam Dobson, UKRI Fellow

I'm joining MCSB with a UKRI-funded fellowship. I started life as an evolutionary biologist, studying how the insect immune system directs the evolution of infectious bacteria during my PhD in Sheffield. Wanting to understand the nuts and bolts of how animals work, and switching focus from conflict to cooperation, I did my first postdoc at Cornell University, investigating how bacteria living in the gut benefit host health. All signs pointed towards the molecular networks that signal nutrient availability, so I moved on to UCL to study those networks directly, and their impact on lifelong health and ageing. This work showed the importance of the interaction between nutrients and specific parts of the animal: lately I've been developing that theme at the level of specific parts of the cell, in a short fellowship at the Technical University of Dresden.

Several transcriptomes and a few million flies later, I'm looking forward to integrating these themes in MCSB. In my fellowship, I'll be looking for evolutionarily-conserved ways that bacteria communicate with their hosts, and the consequences for long-term host health. Biomedically, this could help us to design microbiota to improve long-term health. Biologically, we hope to find general rules of what bacteria can do for their hosts, that animals seem unable to manage alone.

Dr Matt Jones, Lecturer

I am a photobiologist working to understand how plants integrate light signals to optimize responses to abiotic stress. I have moved back to Glasgow from the University of Essex, where my group developed chlorophyll fluorescence techniques to document circadian rhythms within the chloroplast and worked to understand the role of RNA processing, transcript stability, and metabolism in circadian timing. This research led to the identification and characterization of 3’-PhosphoAdenosine 5’-Phosphate (PAP) as a redox stress-induced metabolite that delays gene expression.

Dr Guillermo Baena, RA with Dr Rucha Karnik

I obtained my undergraduate and masters degree in Biology in Seville, and I did my PhD in Plant Molecular Biology under the supervision of Prof. Sofía García-Mauriño and Dr. José A. Monreal. I investigated the role of PTMs in the stability of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) protein in sorghum, and its degradation via autophagy as well. During this time, I performed 2 short stages of three months each in other labs. In 2016 I was in Brisbane developing autophagy methods for sorghum, under the supervision of Dr. Brett Williams and Dr. Sagadevan Mundree, and in 2017 I was in Vienna learning plant autophagy methods in Dr. Yasin Dagdas’ lab. I have recently moved to Scotland to join Dr. Rucha Karnik’s lab, where I will be investigating the role of SNARE proteins in membrane traffic during pathogenesis in Arabidopsis.


First published: 1 November 2019

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