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- Student Stories
Professor Andre Furger
I am the Fellow and Tutor in Biochemistry and the director of studies for Biochemistry in Pembroke.
I run a research group in the Department of Biochemistry. My research addresses several aspects of the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. We aim to understand how the expression (activation) of genes is regulated at the level of pre-mRNA processing. Pre-mRNA processing summarises a cascade of biochemical reactions that are required when genes are activated. We are using both whole genome based approaches and classic molecular biology techniques to understand how a particular pre-mRNA processing reaction that is essential to convert the primary transcripts (pre-mRNA) into mature messenger RNAs is regulated and how this regulation contributes to the establishment of the specific gene expression profiles that are characteristic for a specific cell state or cell type.
If you want to know more details about my research click here.
In a typical year I teach the Biochemistry students in all years. In the first year I give weekly tutorials in the subject of Molecular and Cellular Biology where I teach aspects of metabolism, cell biology and molecular genetics. For the second, third and fourth years I teach in the subject of Genetics and Molecular Biology.
I teach the third year Biochemists in Genetics and Molecular Biology. I run a lecture series: “RNA Biology and translation”. I run a practical on “regulation of gene expression” and I also hold lectures for the first year medical students: “An introduction to molecular Genetics”.
Dr Kirsty McHugh
I teach Immunology (Paper IV) and Data Handling (Paper VI) to Pembroke Biochemistry students, and also an introductory biochemistry course to visiting students that encompasses some core metabolism and molecular genetics topics.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, before working in the Callaghan Cancer Research group at the John Radcliffe Hospital investigating the structural properties of the P-glycoprotein multi-drug transporter. I then completed my DPhil studies at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in the Arthritis Research group headed by Paul Bowness, investigating the link between HLA-B27 and Spondyloarthritis, and continued this project as a postdoctoral scientist at the Botnar Research Centre. The primary focus of this research was to characterise the expression of potentially pathogenic non-conventional forms of B27 in the context of a disease setting using novel B27-specific monoclonal antibodies. I am now based at the Jenner Institute, working on the development of novel therapeutic interventions for the treatment of haematological disorders – non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT) and anaemia of inflammation.
Dr Holger Kramer
At Pembroke I teach Organic Chemistry to first year students and ‘Metal ions in biology’ to second year biochemists. I am also involved in postgraduate teaching within the Doctoral Training Centre (Introduction to Organic Chemistry) and the OXION Ion Channels initiative (Introduction to Proteomics).
I studied Chemistry in Marburg, Germany and at the University of Birmingham graduating with a MSci degree in 2002. This was followed by doctoral studies in Oxford at the Department of Organic Chemistry working on the synthesis of glycoprotein mimics as biological probes. My postdoctoral research with Dr Benedikt Kessler at the Nuffield Department of Medicine introduced me to the use of mass spectrometry and proteomics in the investigation of infectious diseases and post-translational protein modifications. In 2010 I moved to the department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics in order to take up the management and running of the OXION Proteomics facility.
My research interests focus on the application of proteomics, chemical biology and mass spectrometry to the investigation of cellular physiology. In particular my focus is on protein ubiquitination and other regulatory post-translational modifications. This includes detailed characterisation of the enzymes responsible for the attachment of these modifiers to protein surfaces and their subsequent removal. I also have an active interest in the development of novel proteomics methods and mass spectrometry-based assays.
Dr Ivan Campeotto
My main research interests focus on various aspects within the field of the structural biology of host-pathogen interactions and structural enzymology. During my PhD at the University of Leeds, I focused on the structural characterization of enzymes, which were engineered by directed evolution for the production of anti-viral compound analogues. In my subsequent post-doctoral research, I worked on the structural characterisation of human NADPH oxidases (King’s College London) and on cell-wall synthesis enzymes in severe Gram-positive pathogens (Imperial College London), which led to a collaboration with a UK pharmaceutical company. My current research focuses on using X-ray crystallography and other biophysical methods to obtain a molecular understanding of host-pathogen recognition in Plasmodium species, in particular during the infectious blood cycle. Structural information on the Plasmodium invasion machinery could lead to the design of novel inhibitory antibodies and novel therapeutic agents, which are desperately needed for the fight against malaria.
College teaching: I am a BTP Research Fellow at Pembroke ColIege, I currently teach 1st, 2nd and 3rd year Biochemistry students Structural Biology and Biophysical methods with particular emphasis on their applications to Life Sciences. I also teach Biochemistry and Genetics to Medical students focusing on the molecular basis of infectious diseases and on the structural basis of molecular pharmacology.
Departmental teaching: I am currently involved in the 3rd year Biochemistry practicals in protein crystallography and in the structural biology module for the Wellcome Trust PhD Programme. I have been involved with teaching and practicals of the UNIQ Summer School in Oxford since 2015 and I am the co-organizer of the UNIQ Summer School 2016 for the Biochemistry course.For more details about my research please see my LinkedIn profile.
The College admits four undergraduates to read Biochemistry each year. The Pembroke tutors also welcome applications from candidates with a deferred entry date...